Take Balmain??™s Christophe Decarnin, whose trademark peaked jackets and fiercely sexy minidresses have catapulted him and the French label to new heights, with its show today one of the hottest of the week.
Now, the privately held company is working behind the scenes to bring the business in line with the buzz around the name ??” what some have even dubbed ???Balmania.???
Next month, Balmain??™s two-story flagship on the Rue Fran?§ois 1er will be shuttered for two months for a top-to-bottom renovation. And chairman and chief executive Alain Hivelin is reviewing the Paris house??™s network of licenses, guiding certain partners in line with Decarnin??™s rock ??™n??™ roll aesthetic, and phasing out those who don??™t cut the mustard.
The brand signed a women??™s footwear license with Giuseppe Zanotti, effective since the spring 2009 season, which grew out of a runway collaboration stretching back to Decarnin??™s first show in 2006. A men??™s shoe line could be added soon. New for next season is a capsule eyewear collection developed with Oliver Peoples.
In total, Balmain has around 20 licenses in Asia and the Middle East, including scarves, small leather goods, ties and men??™s tailoring. In an interview, Hivelin, who became the house??™s main shareholder in July 2005, declined to give sales figures, but said Balmain has been profitable since 2005 and logged total annual sales growth of around 60 percent the last three years.
The Levi Strauss & Co.-owned brand, whose classic chinos debuted in 1986 and became the unofficial pant of casual Fridays in the Nineties, is betting the renewed focus on its heritage business will not only stanch slumping sales but also redefine how male consumers wear and think about khakis.
???The brand is going back to focusing on what we do best: khaki pants for men,??? said Jim Calhoun, president of Dockers. ???Our global team is working hard to make men love their khakis again. The task is big. We??™ve got to turn around a declining category ??” but as the leader, we??™re the only brand for the job.???
Dockers continues to be the top selling casual pants brand in the U.S. but receipts have slumped in recent years. Levi Strauss does not break out sales for the brand, but noted in company documents that its performance has been ???disappointing??? in recent years. Dockers products, which include men??™s and women??™s bottoms, tops and a range of licensed categories, accounted for 21 percent of Levi Strauss net sales in 2006 and only 18 percent of total net sales, or about $792 million, in 2008.
LIVE WIRE: Louis Vuitton is courting its online fans and giving them a virtual front-row seat at its next fashion show. The French luxury house said it would stream its women??™s ready-to-wear show on its Facebook page on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. CEST. Viewers will be able to comment on the show as it happens. Following the event, footage of the show will be available on demand for 24 hours. Vuitton, which created its Facebook account in July, claims to have been the first luxury brand to take to tweeting.
BLUE CLUES: Jeans on the Hussein Chalayan runway? What a concept. The London-based designer plans to carry on with his collaboration with J Brand for a second season and present styles on the runway at his show on Sunday. The expanded collection for spring includes stretch capri leggings, loose-fit chinos and city shorts.
IN THE HUNT: Inspiration first struck producerFenton Bailey walking past an Anthropologie store with his producing partner; the two casually remarked what a great basis it would make for a television show. The very next day, Bailey read a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Keith Johnson, the globetrotting buyer at large for the stores, and he knew he had his concept.
The result was ???Man Shops Globe,??? an eight-episode series premiering on the Sundance Channel on Oct. 7, following Johnson??™s eye at flea markets and artisans in France, Turkey and South Africa, among others. At a launch party at Anthropologie??™s Rockefeller Plaza store Tuesday night, Glen Senk, chief executive officer of the retailer??™s parent, Urban Outfitters Inc., said getting there meant getting assurances the project wouldn??™t undermine the brand??™s integrity. ???We had been contacted many times,??? he said, ???but we had an instant connection with the team,??? including directorJeremy Simmons. Senk described Johnson, who is also his longtime companion, as ???shy ??” not a reality TV person. It was insightful for them to see what the show could be.???
Said Johnson, ???I??™ve been doing this for so long, it actually gave me a little bit more energy. I saw the world through Jeremy??™s eyes.???
???Man Shops Globe??? has already been picked up for another season, which begins filming shortly.
I don’t have much to say, except, I thoroughly enjoyed viewing this video interview of J Brand Co-Founder and Creative Director Susie Crippen and fashion designer Hussein Chalayan. I loved how they seem to really respect one another’s work. It’s not every day that you get to hear from top trend-setting designers such as these, beyond what you read in print.
Hello denimphiles! If you haven’t heard the buzz around L.A. regarding the “J Brand Gallery” event happening this Saturday at Ron Herman on Melrose, then get with it! You will enjoy more than a shopping trip; it is expected to be an experience where you can look, feel, read, and share in the evolution of the J Brand jean. The Gallery will, for the first time, showcase inspirations used in the creation of J Brand, J Brand Denim Co, J Brand Boutique and J Brand/Hussein Chalayan.
“One of the greatest rewards of doing the J Brand Gallery at Ron Herman is to be able to interact with our customers one on one and introduce them to new styles. It also allows for people to see where we started and how the brand has progressed,” said Susie Crippen, co-founder and creative director.
Yes, that means you can mingle with the J Brand co-founders while you shop, and rub shoulders with celebs expected to be in attendance. C’mon people, you know you want to!
DEETS Join Jeff Rudes and Susie Crippen
Saturday, August 15
2 to 4 PM
8100 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
The much anticipated collaboration between Hussein Chalayan, master of ‘the art’ of fashion design, and J Brand is currently available at Barney’s New York. Most would expect something extraordinary from Chalayan, knowing his chimerical aesthetics, but the outcome of his capsule collection for J Brand is a carefully controlled take on three trends that dominate the market place; the boyfriend jean – lovingly named the Beau jean ($247), the skinny jean – appropriately named the Legging jean ($249), and the harem style jean named the Circuit ($257), because, I am guessing, you need to be styling to work it in the fashion circuit and harem style pants continue to be hot amongst the edgy fashionistas!
It is no surprise that at the private dinner party to launch the collaboration at Hotel Griffou, hosted by Chalayan and J Brand, the who’s who of both the fashion and art worlds came together along with future designer to be, Kanye West, and his muse/girlfriend Amber Rose. The line-up of guests included Vogue Editor – Sally Singer, Vogue Associate Publisher – Lottie Oakley (looking gorgeous as ever from my days at Vogue), John Currin, Rachel Feinstein, Hope Atherton and Chanel Iman, to name a few.