Lanvin Stages Spring Show in Tokyo
Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz. Photo by Yuki Kasuga
TOKYO ??” Lanvin melded the worlds of fashion and sport here by staging a fashion show at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium.
The Lanvin spring show at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium in Tokyo.
Wednesday night??™s event, a reprise of Lanvin??™s spring women??™s and men??™s collections, attracted more than 1,000 guests, including Kanye West, who camped out in the second row with his entourage and attempted to conceal his identity with a black hooded sweatshirt and a scarf covering his face. Ai Tominaga opened the women??™s portion of the show in a black asymmetric dress with a ruffled collar and a glove on one arm.
Creative director Alber Elbaz said he and his staff considered several potential locations for the show, including museums and temples, but the sumo stadium appealed to him for two reasons: He??™s a fan of the sport, and he couldn??™t miss the chance to break a cultural taboo.
???First of all, I love sumo,??? the designer shared over breakfast at the Park Hyatt Hotel. ???I watch it on TV, and I think that sumo wrestlers are gorgeous.???
Traditionally, women are prohibited from entering the stadium??™s center ring, which is considered a sacred space. But Lanvin managed to secure permission to build a runway and scaffolding on top of that very spot. A gyoji, or sumo referee, clad in emerald silk, read from a scroll to announce the start of the show.
Elbaz said he sees parallels between sports and fashion. By way of explanation, he also made a dig at celebrities looking to leverage their fame into clothing lines.
???They may think that all it takes to do fashion is to be famous,??? he said. ???[But] you have to devote your life. You have to work hard. Imagine if I tell you I want to be a ballerina??¦.I mean, I cannot even jump two centimeters, but can I be in the opera and jump? No. So I let the ballerina dance and the chef cook and the actor act and designer design.???
Pierre Berg?© Establishes AIDS Fund
The late Yves Saint Laurent??™s longtime companion and business partner has pledged 10 million euros, or $14.9 million at current exchange rates, over five years to France??™s largest private anti-AIDS group, Sidaction, over which he presides.
Part of the funds will be raised between Nov. 17 and Nov. 19 at a charity auction of furniture and works of art from the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berg?© collection, expected to fetch up to 4 million euros, or $5.7 million.
An earlier auction in February raised 373.5 million euros, or $484.6 million, from the sale of 700 items collected by Saint Laurent and Berg?©.
DailyCandy to Launch E-Commerce
NEW YORK ??” DailyCandy is jumping into the online private sale phenomenon.
The company, long known for its shopping, trend and travel recommendations and offers both on the Web and in newsletters, will next month launch e-commerce with the introduction of a members-only site, Swirl, Sample Sales by DailyCandy.
The new site will host three sales a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Each sale will last 72 hours, and include both established and up-and-coming names in apparel and accessories like Leifsdottir, Leigh + Luca and Lauren Merkin. While the two sites are positioned as separate entities, DailyCandy editors will choose the goods sold on Swirl. The new site will be based in Los Angeles, and DailyCandy editor in chief Eve Epstein will leave her post to become creative director of Swirl. Swirl will soft launch Nov. 16 to a group of DailyCandy subscribers, and officially launch in January.
???We have an immensely loyal following,??? said DailyCandy founder Dany Levy of the company??™s 3 million subscribers. ???They trust us with the things we recommend.???
Private online sale sites have been one of the most popular growth sectors of retail in the few years. Sites such as Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Rue La La and others have acquired thousands of members and attracted significant investment. This week, Rue La La was acquired by GSI Commerce Inc. for $350 million (GSI, ironically, is doing the backend operations for Swirl). Even established retailers have broken into the online private sale race, with both Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue holding them.
DailyCandy, founded in 2000, has some advantages over its competitors in launching e-commerce with a built-in network of subscribers to market the sales to and a trusted editorial voice to hand-pick designers. However, one disadvantage it faces is that the Swirl sales are only three days a week ??” Gilt, Rue La La and similar sites offer deals daily, and some offer products beyond fashion, including travel, electronics and home goods.
???This is like putting the Oprah factor into something,??? said NPD Group??™s Marshal Cohen. ???In fact, it??™s more educational than promotional. The value DailyCandy will bring to the party is they??™ll educate their community. They??™re going to have experts help their consumers make decisions.???
So why did DailyCandy wait so long to launch e-commerce? ???Everything we do, we research very carefully, and want to be in the right place at the right time,??? said Levy. ???Editorial is a very different animal than retail. For us to claim we could do it [too soon] would have been a sad mistake.???
DailyCandy was purchased by Comcast in 2008 for a reported $125 million after former AOL chief operating officer Bob Pittman flipped his stake in the site. Now, DailyCandy is part of a media conglomerate that includes Fandango, Style Network, Movies.com and E! It services 28 different e-mail newsletters covering 13 cities as well as subjects like kids, travel and weddings. DailyCandy launched a Web site in September that includes archived content from past years and new information from each city and subject in one place. (Readers also have a chance to comment back to the editors in a public forum.)
Memo Pad: Gentlemen’s Ball, Maybe Not…
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher at the GQ Gentlemen??™s Ball Tuesday night. Photo by Courtesy Photo
GOOD DEEDS, BAD DEEDS: Attendance was considered an act of kindness Wednesday night at GQ??™s Gentlemen??™s Ball held at New York??™s Edison Ballroom. ???You??™re all gentlemen tonight, because you showed up here instead of watching the Yankees win game one of the World Series,??? said Josh Lucas to a crowd that included Ashton Kutcher, Adrian Grenier, Akon, Kid Cudi, Michael Bastian, Mark Wahlberg, Jamie Burke and Thom Browne, along with Demi Moore, Chanel Iman, Emmy Rossum, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Universal Motown??™s Sylvia Rhone and a slew of fashion elite. (The Yanks lost later that evening.) The event honored several do-gooder guests supported by GQ??™s Gentlemen??™s Fund, which helps advertisers enter partnerships with celebrity ambassadors and nonprofits. But other guests??™ antics weren??™t so gentlemanly. Akon, who performed several songs including his cover of Michael Jackson??™s ???Wanna Be Startin??™ Somethin??™,??? asked one woman what color her nether regions were. His crassness didn??™t deter Kutcher, Moore and others from dancing with the rap star. And though Kid Cudi was gentlemanly enough to ask GQ publisher Pete Hunsinger if he wanted a shot from the bar before dinner, Cudi later excused his performance to the crowd by saying, ???I??™m a little tipsy.??? Finally, while most guests wore their cocktail finest from Burberry (Restoin-Roitfeld, Lucas), Ralph Lauren (Iman), GQ fund sponsor Nautica (Grenier) and Calvin Klein (Kutcher, Cudi), Wahlberg opted for a more casual jeans and a T-shirt, as he arrived straight from a movie shoot. Attendees gave one suit in particular a standing ovation: Master Sergeant William ???Spanky??? Gibson, who, dressed in uniform, picked up an honorary award from the Pat Tillman Foundation and Ketel One vodka.
??” Stephanie D. Smith
Tags: DailyCandy, GQ, Lanvin, Pierre BergÃ©, WWD
Stewart + Brown, the label founded by husband and wife team Karen Stewart and Howard Brown, adds organic cotton denim to their brand.
Hot fall trends include leggings, jeggings, leather (get that Alexander Wang Coco Duffel that I posted the other day…a hot hot item ladies!) pants (Helmut Lang rules!), vests, jackets and bags. Great investments that will last season after season.
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–Nikki Cho Russo
Stewart + Brown Puts Eco Stamp on Denim
Denim look from Stewart + Brown. Photo by Courtesy Photo
???We felt like we needed to offer denim to round out the collection and offer more woven bottoms,??? said Stewart, who noted the line??™s assortment has traditionally been focused on cut-and-sew knits and tops.
They also believed there was an opportunity in the market for a higher-end take on denim with a socially conscious message.
???We took styling cues from [traditional] denim, but it has a more refined and sophisticated appearance,??? said Stewart. Details such as heavy contrast stitching, zippers and brass have been lifted from the traditional denim world and incorporated into more refined designs. ???We wanted to take it a little more dressed up rather than the casual perspective on denim,??? she said.
One of the keys to achieving that upscale look has been the choice of a lightweight fabric they are referring to as a ???platinum twill.??? The 7-ounce Japanese fabric is made from 100 percent organic cotton the designers had been working with over the years for other items. The fabric??™s manufacturing process allows the fiber used to pick up all the dye, which results in clean water after the dyeing process.
The line??™s denim offerings will consist of trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses and jackets. Wholesale prices will range from $82 to $138.
Stewart + Brown targets high-end women??™s specialty boutiques, and has felt the pangs of the recession as their customers struggled to survive. Many didn??™t. Stewart said that prior to the global financial crisis, the line shipped to 350 stores in the U.S. as well as to stores in Europe and Asia. Today, the line is down to 200 doors in the U.S. However, an online store launched two years ago is growing and customers did not flee entirely from the premium prices generally associated with green products.
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Hot Fall Items Emerge in Contemporary
VinTage leggings at Intermix. Photo by Courtesy Photo
From the East to the West Coast, retailers said contemporary shoppers have been on the prowl for high-quality pieces that also provide great value. While they are pickier than ever about what they choose to spend their money on, they aren??™t exactly price-sensitive: If they have to have it, they will buy it.
At Saks Fifth Avenue, fashion market director Colleen Sherin said overall she is pleased with fall sales so far, with some of the highest-priced items on the floor selling out quickly. Sherin said this season at Saks, buyers were choosier than ever about their buys, which has been good for sales. Sometimes, she said, they only purchased one or two items from a particular brand. It??™s those items she is seeing sell out fast.
???The key categories have really become clear, and it??™s those multiuse items which can be dressed up or down that are really doing well,??? she said. ???Leggings are selling quickly and vests are selling really well, whether they are embellished, are made of fur, leather.??¦They are seen as a layering piece, almost like an accessory.???
Alexander Wang RTW Fall 09. Photo by Courtesy Photo
Leather items, Sherin said, are performing well across the board, which she said has a lot to do with the value and longevity factor.
???Leather is seen as an investment; it only gets better with age,??? she said. ???And at $295 to $1,900 retail for these items, we haven??™t seen much price resistance.???
Sherin said Saks is also noticing a great deal of cross shopping, with more traditional designer customers heading to the contemporary floor to buy some of the higher-end lines there. She noted brands like Elizabeth and James, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone are top performers, while casual items from Joie have been selling as well.
???Casual shirts, cargo pants??¦it??™s those effortless, easy pieces which have also been amazing,??? she said.
Sari Sloane, fashion merchandiser and director at Intermix, said shoppers have begun gravitating toward easy-to-layer separates ??” denim, knits and leather in particular.
Elizabeth & James Blazer. Photo by Courtesy Photo
???The shopper wants value for her dollar, but she also wants to update her wardrobe,??? she said. ???So [we] offer high-low price points so they will spend more for an investment piece that can carry through seasons, as well as with some pieces that are more trend-oriented.???
Like Saks, Sloane said Intermix is doing well with Helmut Lang leggings and Rag & Bone jackets.
???Leggings and leather pants and leather jackets are doing well because they can be dressed up or down and fall into trend categories but are also transitional pieces,??? she said. ???Almost every collection has offered variations on them. Also, we really edit the collections we buy to ensure that we get a very special assortment and create exclusive collaborations with our designers. This way, the consumer can find items with Intermix that are not available anywhere else.???
At Canadian retailer Holt Renfrew, fashion director Barbara Atkin said the store is seeing strong demand in the advanced contemporary area, with customers buying heavily into brands like Elizabeth and James, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang and Kimberly Ovitz.
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Fashion’s Night Out to Be Repeated in 2010
Today, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Vogue magazine, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and NYC & Co. will unveil the return of the event on Sept. 9 ??” and the plan is to make the second one bigger and better than the first.
???The numbers are in, and it??™s clear that Fashion??™s Night Out was a tremendous success,??? Bloomberg said. ???Thousands of New Yorkers attended the events in all five boroughs, supporting the city??™s retail and fashion industries, and helping a worthwhile cause. It??™s sure to be an even bigger event in 2010.???
The first event, which took place Sept. 10, was widely considered a success. In New York alone, more than 700 retailers remained open until 11 p.m., and designers planned special personal appearances or events, with various spots around the city turning into major block parties.
???We were absolutely bowled over by the response to Fashion??™s Night Out,??? said Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. ???It was only 15 minutes after the event began, and we were getting reports about lines around the block at stores throughout the city. It was wonderful to see people embrace this initiative, and we are thrilled that they wish it to return.???
CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg added, ???To have designers in stores to celebrate and start a shopping season is the best idea for everybody. It creates excitement and lots of business.???
According to an independent study by ShopperTrak, foot traffic in stores jumped by 50 percent that night. Meanwhile, NYC & Co., the marketing, tourism and partnerships organization of the city, conducted a survey of 1,300 shoppers and concluded that 75 percent of them bought something that night. The survey also found two-thirds of those consumers visited stores they have never been to before, and 61 percent ventured out of their comfort zones, going to neighborhoods outside of their work and living areas.
???I think that when the partners planned the first one, it was pretty clear that it was going to be successful, but until we hit the streets that night, I don??™t think we knew the extent of the success,??? CFDA executive director Steven Kolb said. ???As it went into the nights and days after, during fashion week, we talked to all the participants, and there wasn??™t one person who didn??™t immediately ask when we were going to do this again.???
In the weeks since Fashion??™s Night Out, top retailers have been meeting with the mayor and city officials, seeking a repeat of the event and trying to devise strategies to spur shopping and tourism in the city year-round. Specifically for Fashion??™s Night Out, some retailers are pressing to make Sept. 9 free of sales tax. There is also a proposal to stage a fashion show for consumers at Lincoln Center, where New York Fashion Week will be held for the spring 2011 designer collections for the first time, instead of at Bryant Park. The show would promote merchandise in the stores, not the next season??™s.
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Men’s Sets the Pace for Prada in Asia
The Prada flagship in Singapore??™s Ion Orchard mall.
???Asia has been fantastic,??? Suhl said. ???It has offset some of the softer markets.???
Asia was Prada??™s largest business in the first half of 2009, representing 25 percent of global sales, and according to a recent study by Bain, the region is set to grow 10 percent this year.
Prada on Wednesday unveiled a new 13,000-square-foot unit in Singapore??™s Ion Orchard mall, its largest flagship in Asia-Pacific to date. The company plans five more stores in the region before the end of the year for a total of 17 new units in 2009.
Suhl explained Prada has seen very strong comps across the region, with men??™s wear, which accounts for 30 percent of global Prada sales and more than 30 percent in Asia, leading the way.
???We have been seeing some very positive trends in men??™s wear, and overall much more positive trends than women??™s globally,??? Suhl said.
China has been ???remarkable,??? while South Korea, which is Prada??™s fastest-growing market in Asia year-to-date, has done ???extremely well??? for men and women, he added.
Prada is also looking at new territories such as Mongolia, although ???it??™s still very nascent,??? Suhl said, adding that second-tier cities in China like Xi??™An would remain the focus for the time being. ???Xi??™An is a city of eight million people, but by Chinese standards, it??™s almost like a village. The sales we are generating there in a relatively small store are comparable to key European cities,??? he said.
Even markets like Australia are starting to show big numbers, according to Suhl.
To further penetrate the market, Prada, which also operates the Miu Miu, Car Shoe and Church??™s brands, plans to open its first Car Shoe retail footwear store next year in Hong Kong??™s Elements Mall and in Singapore??™s Ion Orchard. Meanwhile, Church??™s, which already counts three stores in Hong Kong, will also open a store in Ion Orchard.
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Val’s Pals at VBH Boutique
Valentino & Gwyneth Paltrow. Photo by Steve Eichner
Valentino may have retired two years ago, but one wouldn??™t know it from the press whirlwind he??™s been on the last few months. Case in point: the VBH boutique on Tuesday night, where the designer joined Giancarlo Giammetti and Gwyneth Paltrow for a DVD signing of ???Valentino: The Last Emperor,??? Matt Tyrnauer??™s hit documentary about Valentino??™s last year in the fashion business. Alek Wek, Harley Viera-Newton, Gigi Mortimer and Molly Sims were on hand for the fete, from which proceeds benefitted The Robin Hood Foundation.
Paltrow didn??™t seem ready to brave the cameras for a full-blown feature on her life. ???I don??™t think I would be an interesting enough subject,??? said the actress. ???There would be a lot of school runs, a lot of cooking, a lot of talking on the phone, a lot of e-mailing. Not six dogs and ski chalets, sadly,??? she said, referencing some of the aspects of Valentino??™s life showcased in the film.
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Appreciating Lady Gaga… Prince Charles Visiting Burberry…
Lady Gaga Photo By Dominique Maitre
CHARLES??™ CHECK: Burberry??™s newly minted global headquarters in London will get the royal seal of approval this week. Today, Prince Charles is set to make a visit to Horseferry House, the company??™s 160,000-square-foot base near London??™s River Thames, to officially open the sleek building. Angela Ahrendts, Burberry??™s chief executive officer, and Christopher Bailey, the label??™s creative director, will greet the prince, who will then view Burberry??™s archives and meet members of the company??™s 850 staff ??” who have been based at the building since January ??” during a tour of Burberry??™s design studio and offices. And since Burberry has held one of the Prince of Wales??™ royal warrants since 1990, it??™s likely Charles will be well enough acquainted with the 153-year-old label to happily talk trench coats with Ahrendts and Bailey.
Georgina Chapman, Mischa Barton and Stephen Webster at Garrard. Photo by MAX RAPP/ PatrickMcMullan.com
BAUBLES AND BUBBLY: Fine jewelry design was feted all over Manhattan on Tuesday night. Uptown, Annie Churchill, Kara Ross and Gilles Mendel came to congratulate Ward andNico Landrigan, the father-son owners of Verdura, on the firm??™s 70th anniversary. Meanwhile, it was a family affair for Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman at the Garrard salon in SoHo. Chapman??™s mother, Caroline Wonfor, brother Edward (who is president of Marchesa), mother-in-law Miriam Weinstein and husband Harvey Weinstein were in attendance to celebrate her collaboration with Garrard creative director Stephen Webster on a capsule collection for the English jewelry firm. ???They better be here if they want to stay family,??? said Chapman, outfitted in a royal blue number from her collection, as well as her first fine jewelry designs. Nonrelatives of Chapman??™s included Helena Christensen, Becki Newton, Mischa Barton and Tinsley Mortimer, who had a camera crew in tow filming her new reality show.
OPENING PAIR: The collaborations at Opening Ceremony continue apace: the latest is with shoe designer Robert Clergerie, who has taken his classic espadrille style (which he introduced in 1990) and created four exclusive designs for the retailer to debut in late February. The designs, featuring fabrics including indigo-dyed linen, classic polkadots on linen, and a special hand-painted floral print, will retail for $460 at the store.
MUMMY DEAREST: Tamara Mellon will take the stand in a Channel Islands courtroom next month as part of a 6 million pound, or $9.5 million, lawsuit against her mother, Ann Yeardye. Mellon is suing her mother for breach of contract in the sale of Jimmy Choo to Lion Capital in 2004. A source close to Mellon said Yeardye also planned to give evidence at the civil hearing, which is scheduled for mid-November at the Royal Court of Jersey, Channel Islands. Meanwhile, a similar lawsuit in Los Angeles that Mellon filed in January 2008 has been dropped due to jurisdiction issues. Mellon and Yeardye held stakes in Jimmy Choo through family trusts and, at the time of the sale to Lion Capital, money was paid to the family in cash and stock of the new owner. Mother and daughter reached an agreement partly verbally and partly in writing that Yeardye would receive her share in cash only, and Mellon would take her share solely in stock.
The lawsuit alleges Yeardye mistakenly received some of the stock that was supposed to go to Mellon, and refused to return it when the error was discovered. The 4 million pounds, or $6.3 million, in disputed stock was later liquidated after Jimmy Choo was sold once again in 2007, and is sitting in a frozen bank account. In 2004, Lion Capital acquired a majority stake in Jimmy Choo in a deal that valued the company at 101 million pounds, or $187 million, at the time of sale. In 2007, Lion Capital sold Jimmy Choo to TowerBrook Capital Partners LP in a deal valuing the London-based accessories company at 185 million pounds, or $364.5 million, at the time of sale.
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Tags: Alexander Wang, Burberry, Elizabeth James, Fashion's Night Out, Garrard, Georgina Chapman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jimmy Choo, Lady Gaga, Prada, Stewart + Brown, Tamara Mellon, Valentino, VinTage, WWD