OH BOY! My kid and I are going to have a field day, well, at least I will unless I get him a lolly beforehand, when Stella McCartney’s children’s wear collection launches November 2nd at the Gap. I can picture him now rocking the great little band jacket and skinny jeans. How unbelievably fabulous, but what about me? I want that jacket too! The girls leopard animal print dress is absolutely adorable and all the pink tutu loving darlings will be in girly heaven! Shout out a “hip hip hooray”, do a McCartneywheel and mark your calendars mommas!
Read some of my highlighted articles from today’s WWD below.
Stella McCartney is yet again expanding her brand??™s reach ??” and her latest target audience is the grade-school set.
McCartney??™s first full children??™s wear collections, done in collaboration with GapKids and babyGap, will be launched Nov. 2 at select Gap stores in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France and Japan. The 70-piece line, which McCartney said she designed to ???find a kind of balance between Stella as in what I do for adults??¦and how I see kids, really,??? takes inspiration from both the design signature McCartney has developed in her own collections and her practical experience as a mother of three.
???I guess I tackled it in the same way I would one of my own ready-to-wear collections, but then the challenge was, ???OK, I??™ve got to get into the same mind-set of a kid and what they might like,??™??? said McCartney as she stood on the sidelines of the campaign shoot for the collection ??” which stars a host of children posing with baby animals ??” at a London studio in late summer. ???It??™s quite a good thing to have kids when you??™re designing a kids??™ collection, to be aware that they actually have their own point of view.???
To wit, McCartney made sure the fabrics she??™s used in the collection ??” such as organic cotton, cashmere and wool ??” aren??™t ???scratchy,??? and has incorporated fun elements to entice children as much as their parents. A T-shirt printed with a superhero design ??” which McCartney??™s four-year-old son Miller approved ??” and a pair of white high-top sneakers can both be customized with a set of colored markers sold alongside the garments. There are also pajamas that come in a dinosaur-print bag for boys, along with tulle tutu skirts in caramel and pistachio and a faded mint silk party dress embroidered with silk flowers for girls. (The collection??™s sizes run from newborn to children up to age 12).
But practical pieces feature in the collection, too, such as a navy wool peacoat and organic denim jeans for boys and silk collarless shirts and organic cotton T-shirts for girls. ???I think in kids??™ wear a lot of the time they give one point of view??¦and that??™s not how kids are,??? said McCartney. ???You want to mix and match, otherwise kids look too twee or too streety.???
And in keeping with McCartney??™s vegetarian principles, the shoes she??™s designed, which include sneakers and shiny gray rain boots, are all made without leather. ???A big part of the excitement for me was not just the clothes but the shoes,??? said McCartney. ???Because so many people had said to me, ???I can??™t get shoes for my kids that aren??™t leather.??™???
Meanwhile, some of the pieces are mini-me versions of designs from McCartney??™s rtw collections. There??™s a gray sweater dress knit with an intarsia leopard design ??” which appeared full-size in the designer??™s fall 2009 collection ??” along with skinny gray jeans with ankle zippers and a snug gray cable-knit cardigan dress.
A Winter Kate jacket layered over a camisole and vest with House of Harlow 1960 accessories.
The label, Winter Kate, which will debut in spring, expands a fashion business that already includes the accessories line House of Harlow 1960 and a maternity collection, Nicole for A Pea in the Pod.
The 37-piece Winter Kate line, which takes her daughter Harlow??™s two middle names, will hit stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale??™s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ron Herman, Intermix and Kitson, beginning in February.
???It feels as though I??™ve always been working on this collection, but officially I started putting it together in early 2009,??? said Richie, who is lying low at home after the birth last month of her son, Sparrow. ???I??™ve wanted to design a clothing collection for a very long time.???
Richie, who has become known for her eclectic bohemian style with a Sixties and Seventies flair, said she has torn fashion pages out of magazines for years and also draws inspiration from her favorite animals, including peacocks and other birds.
The line includes mostly tops, vests and bed jackets in colorful vintage-inspired silk, crepe and chiffon because these tops are a mainstay of Richie??™s own wardrobe.
???I probably wear the same two pairs of jeans every day as the background to a fabulous top,??? she said. ???Bed jackets are a staple of my wardrobe because they are a gorgeous way to give jeans and a white T-shirt a completely different look.???
Also key for spring dressing are ???definitely a beautiful, fun slip dress in a great print and also a leather jacket to turn the romantic day dress into an edgy night-out outfit,??? Richie said.
Her collection includes long slip dresses, asymmetrical short dresses, tunics and a kimono-sleeved, maxidress, which are meant to be layered with vests in cotton macram?©, suede or silk, or a shrunken leather jacket.
That??™s how Yeohlee Teng summed up Wednesday??™s Save the Garment Center rally that drew 750 supporters including Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore, Elie Tahari and other designers onto Seventh Avenue to raise awareness of the New York neighborhood??™s plight.
???This will change the conversation with the city,??? Teng said after the event. ???It won??™t just be about square footage anymore. It will be about issues that are more indicative of what is going on now ??” saving jobs, being American and cultural identities.???
Several of the 16 speakers hammered home the need to protect American workers, to market a Made in New York label and to give domestic companies tax incentives to keep production in the city. The Council of Fashion Designers of America??™s executive director, Steven Kolb, helped round up a battalion of designers including Marcus Wainwright, Doo-Ri Chung, Chris Benz, Maria Cornejo, Victoria Bartlett and Charles Nolan. Supporters did their part, waving ???Save the Garment Center??? and ???It??™s Sew N.Y.??? signs, and shouting their cause when prompted by fiery leaders like Workers United??™s Bruce Raynor and Edgar Romney.
Before activists took to the stage set up at Seventh Avenue and 39th Street, Romney said Wednesday??™s rally was the first time in his 43-year tenure that industry workers, union members and designers had come together. As one of the leaders who first urged former Mayor Ed Koch to secure six million square feet in the area for apparel manufacturing, Romney told the crowd he was ???a bit perplexed??? to be standing there again. Today, there are 4,500 to 5,000 union workers in the garment center compared with five years ago when there were 12,000 to 13,000, Romney said. The apparel industry is New York City??™s second-largest employer behind the financial sector ??” a statistic not lost on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
???If there is one thing that we should have clearly learned this year.??¦We cannot base New York City??™s entire economy on two industries: Wall Street and real estate. Those industries are important ??” those people wear clothes??¦??? she said. ???But we need a diversified economy in New York City, so when there is a Wall Street setback it doesn??™t become a massive problem in our city.???
For the past few years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg??™s administration has been trying to iron out rezoning, with the latest proposal being contain the bulk of the industry??™s tenants to a 270,000-square-foot building at 270 West 38th Street. With Bloomberg vying for a third term and the election just a few weeks away, talks have picked up a bit.
Bloomberg??™s mayoral rival, William Thompson, said, ???Government needs to step up to do its part. We need to stand up and save the garment center now. Instead of giving tax breaks to Yankee Stadium, which only employs part-time ushers, let??™s save the garment center.???
Sam Ben-Avraham and Valentino Vettori are hoping to bring some improvement to contemporary fashion.
That??™s why Ben-Avraham, owner and founder of Atrium stores and the Project trade show, and Vettori, owner of the Scatola showroom in New York, put their heads together and came up with a new brand ??” Improvd, launching for spring selling.
???These days, selling these high-end collections can be tough,??? Ben-Avraham explained. ???I really had the need to see something different, but it??™s hard to find a collection that has a great look, value and price all in one.???
Improvd consists of a full range of sportswear ??” washed leather jackets and vests in colors such as tan, black, light blue or dusty pink; printed and solid T-shirts, wraps and T-shirt dresses; a full denim jeans collection; cotton knit dresses for both day and evening; jumpsuits, and a full collection of viscose scarves. The collection, which is made from European fabrics and produced in China, wholesales from $19 for a T-shirt to $200 for a leather jacket. The scarves, which come in a range of colors to work with the sportswear, wholesale for $29.
Three huge stories today from WWD.
The phoenix is rising for the Limelight, but not as a thumping club venue, but as a retail center. How can I forget the many late nights dancing away at the Limelight in the late 80′s and early 90′s? The last dj I heard there was Tall Pall. It will certainly be interesting to walk around the interiors once renovation has been done and it is open to the public. I wonder if they will have caged dancers as a little homage to the once vivacious Limelight?
Tom Ford, the sole man that brought sexy back for the House of Gucci, will be entering the women’s wear arena once again. Now that he has as movie under his belt, fragrances, sunglasses and a men’s wear line, he will be building his fashion empire with no doubt an ultra luxe and sexy women’s wear collection. I can’t wait to see his first collection preview!
Now the Brits can enjoy the bohemian chic of Anthropologie, which will be just a few stones throw away from their houses. They’ve opened their first European flagship store in London.
The Limelight Reborn as a Retail Center
From WWD ISSUE 10/21/2009
Rendering of Limelight
NEW YORK ??” The Limelight Marketplace could be one man??™s brilliant idea ??” or misguided folly.
That man is Jack Menashe, president of Limelight Marketplace, who is overseeing the $10 million renovation designed by James Mansour. Menashe said he expects the 25,000-square-foot facility to do $50 million in sales volume in the first year. An opening is planned for March.
Built in the mid-1800s, the landmark Gothic Revival-style Episcopal Church on West 20th Street and Sixth Avenue became a nightclub in 1983. At the height of its popularity, the Limelight attracted celebrities, wannabees, club kids and young professionals. The club was repeatedly closed by police, then briefly reopened, before finally closing in 2007.
The Limelight??™s next incarnation will be a marketplace with more than 70 shops, eateries and cafes, and two full-fledged restaurants.
Menashe, who owned Lounge in SoHo until it closed in January, is a retail showman. At Lounge, he sold Swarovski-encrusted hoodies and embellished jeans. There was a wall of rock ??™n??™ roll memorabilia and a restaurant that served food until 4 a.m.
While Lounge had a clubby atmosphere with dark walls and scuffed wood floors, Limelight Marketplace will be bright and colorful with lots of bold signage.
???I tried to make the building feel much smaller and make it feel accessible,??? Menashe said. ???The building is like a big old haunted house. We envision families coming and spending three to four hours here.???
But with an edgy sneaker gallery and apothecary selling cult brands, the Limelight Marketplace is geared toward savvy shoppers. ???Retail became very boring,??? Menashe said. ???We??™re trying to make this fun.???
Standing on the second floor amid and the hum of construction work, Menashe said, ???I was looking for an opportunity to do something like this. This is a very complicated building. People said I was crazy.???
Click here to read the full article
Tom Ford to Launch Women’s ‘Very Soon’
From WWD ISSUE 10/21/2009
Tom Ford in Tokyo. Photo By Akiko Sameshima
TOKYO ??” Tom Ford is getting ready for his return to women??™s wear ??” the only question now is when.
The designer, and now film director, finally acknowledged on the record he??™s returning to the women??™s arena and confirmed he and his longtime business partner and Tom Ford International chairman Domenico De Sole are on the hunt for financing.
Ford, in town to promote his new film, ???A Single Man,??? and make a personal appearance at his new men??™s shop in the Isetan department store, said he plans to launch the Tom Ford brand??™s first women??™s collection ???very soon,??? although he declined to specify a date. Sources told WWD earlier this month that, depending on financing, Ford was eyeing a launch of a women??™s line as early as fall 2010.
???Financing is extremely expensive right now, so if we find financing in the right situation we??™ll be able to start [a women??™s collection] soon. If we don??™t, we may have to wait a while,??? Gucci??™s former creative director told WWD in an interview from a 50th floor suite of the Park Hyatt Hotel with an expansive view of the city skyline.
???You know it will take me 18 months when I start, because [I have] to hire the team, find the factories, put everything together and then get the stores ready so there??™s a place for these clothes,??? said Ford as he sipped a Coke Zero to overcome his jet lag.
Recent reports estimate Ford and De Sole are seeking $50 million or more to fund a women??™s collection and that Credit Suisse is leading the process. De Sole, who is also in Tokyo, declined to discuss the financials of the privately held company except to state that Ford??™s stores in Osaka, Tokyo and Seoul are performing strongly.
???We have the advantage of being a younger brand that??™s in a growing mode,??? De Sole said.
Ford contended his men??™s wear label is outpacing most of its competitors in the recession and he??™s optimistic the luxury goods market is on its way to recovery.
???Things are getting better every day in most places,??? Ford said, clad in a black suit and a white shirt. ???So I??™m optimistic and this is something that I plan on doing for the next 30 years of my life, so if I have to wait another six months or a year [to launch women??™s], it??™s OK.???
In the meantime, Ford is holding court with his fans here in Tokyo. On Tuesday evening, he made quite an entrance at Isetan, turning up in a black Mercedes and posing as a crowd snapped photos of him with their cell phones. He then made his way upstairs to his recently opened shop-in-shop, where he autographed boxes of his fragrance.
The Isetan shop-in-shop, which opened in September, is Ford??™s first store in Tokyo and his second in Japan. The designer said he hopes to open a freestanding store in Tokyo as soon as he finds a suitable location.
Click here to read the full article
Anthropologie Opens First European Store Friday
From WWD ISSUE 10/21/2009
View of the new Anthropologie store in London. Photo by Marcus Dawes
LONDON ??” Anthropologie will plant its first flag in Europe on Friday with the launch of a 10,000-square-foot clothing, accessories and homeware emporium on Regent Street, halfway between Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
The bright and airy store, with soaring ceilings, central skylights and white oak flooring, spans three levels and features a 50-foot-high wall of evergreen plants fed by rainwater that??™s been collected on the roof.
The centerpiece of the space, which used to house a Wedgwood store, is a 50-ton glass, textured concrete and metal staircase that??™s meant to echo those of England??™s grand country homes and town houses.
In the spirit of Anthropologie, a division of the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters Inc., there is a mix of locally sourced and imported merchandise ??” and artwork ??” from the U.S., South Africa and continental Europe.
???London is an amazing opportunity for the brand, which we think looks at life in a slightly different way,??? said James Bidwell, Anthropologie??™s managing director for Europe.
The store will be the first of its kind on the street, which is dominated by big international brands such as Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers and Aquascutum, and fashion retail chains including Zara, Gap and French Connection.
???We??™re not about fast fashion, and we see ourselves as appealing to customers who are creative, artistic and well-traveled,??? Bidwell added.
George Wallace, head of retail strategy and commercial due diligence at MHE Retail, a London-based consultancy, said the concept is ???fun, well-executed, well thought-out, with an attractive product offer.??? He added, however, that the timing is not ideal.
???This kind of store works a lot better when the money is free flowing. Right now, people are not in the mood to say, ???Oh I think I??™ll have that lovely jug or plate.??™ And that might soften the launch. But they are in it for the long game,??? so that??™s only a temporary issue, he said.
Bidwell said he sees the Regent Street store as ???an introduction??? to the brand, which will also open a 10,000-square-foot unit on London??™s King??™s Road in the spring. Also in the spring, Anthropologie will unveil a Web site that will service the U.K. and continental Europe.
The two London units ??” and the site ??” are just the beginning for Anthropologie. In August, Glen Senk, chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters, said the company is planning to roll out a minimum of 100 Urban and Anthropologie stores in Europe.
Click here to read the full article
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Anthropologie, Limelight, Tom Ford
Sexy, edgy, so punk/rock ‘n’ roll and now more affordable pieces in clothing AND accessories by Jimmy Choo will be on sale at 200 H&M stores on November 14th! This is what we have all been waiting for, so mark your calendars and count down the days to the release of Jimmy Choo for H&M!
I predict this collaboration launch will be the best and most insanely sought after line of all the designer collaborations done with H&M in the past.
Read the WWD article below:
Jimmy Choo to Accessorize H&M
From WWD ISSUE 10/19/2009
Fond of glamorous, oversize sunglasses and sky-high stiletto boots, Tamara Mellon is not a person one would associate with the word ???bargain.???
And dressed head to toe in an ultraviolet suede minidress and strappy sandals from the Jimmy Choo for H&M capsule collection, Mellon, founder and president of the luxury shoemaker, admitted: ???It was a challenge for us to create high-quality pieces at an H&M price point.???
The Jimmy Choo for H&M line, which hits some 200 H&M stores Nov. 14, is the first time the fast-fashion retailer will collaborate with an accessories brand after doing successful one-off apparel collections with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Roberto Cavalli and, most recently, Matthew Williamson. Another first is on Mellon??™s part: She has spearheaded her first apparel designs under the Jimmy Choo name.
???It was H&M??™s idea to [do clothes], and as soon as they said it, I really wanted to do it,??? said Mellon, who said she has no imminent plans to launch ready-to-wear under the Jimmy Choo umbrella, but added: ???Never say never.???
???Through vintage shopping, I had a rail of stuff,??? said Mellon of her design process, not unlike the manner in which she generates Jimmy Choo??™s four collections a year. ???It??™s the same woman [who is the inspiration for Choo??™s] fall collection. She??™s rock ??™n??™ roll, a little punk.???
For fall, Mellon was inspired by late-Seventies pop icons and hippies in Goa, India.
???It??™s buy-now, wear-now for party season,??? said Mellon of the collection of apparel, handbags, costume jewelry and those signature sky-scraping Jimmy Choo stilettos that have made the 13-year-old company well known.
The line reflects just how Mellon would style the accessories on herself. The women??™s rtw looks include a sequin-covered black jersey dress with a plunging V neckline; a one-shoulder gray suede minidress; a chubby black faux fur vest; a boxy zipped cashmere cardigan covered in black sequins and beads, and ??” Mellon??™s favorite ??” a short-sleeve black suede minidress drenched in long suede fringes that extend past the knee.
The shoes are equally edgy. All made of leather, there are bondage-inspired high-heel sandals for evening, strappy studded gladiators for day and stretch leather over-the-knee boots meant to be worn with a short skirt or dress. Many pieces are inspired by styles that have been in the collection, such as an oversize leather clutch with gold hardware, an embellished zebra-striped pochette for evening and platform sandals.
Click here to read the full article
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: H&M, Jimmy Choo, WWD