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WWD News: Anna Sui’s Target Line Debuts This Week, Message at WWDMAGIC: High Fashion at Value Prices,Varvatos Opens in Vegas, Launches E-Commerce

Anna Sui’s Target Line Debuts This Week


From WWD ISSUE 09/09/2009

An Anna Sui for Target metallic jacquard dress inspired by Blair. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)

An Anna Sui for Target metallic jacquard dress inspired by Blair. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)



NEW YORK ??” It probably goes without saying that privileged Upper East Side denizens Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Jenny Humphrey and Vanessa Abrams don??™t shop for their frocks at Target. After all, the four ???Gossip Girls??? collectively own enough designer garments to fill a warehouse. 

But that may change now. Anna Sui for Target, part of the retailer??™s Designer Collaboration series, channels the well-dressed women of ???Gossip Girl??? and debuts in 600 select Target stores out of more than 1,700 units, and on Sunday at 

Designer Collaborations taps established talents to create collections inspired by a muse, creative element or collaborative partner. Alexander McQueen launched the effort in March with McQ Alexander McQueen for Target, inspired by Leila Moss, lead singer of The Duke Spirit. 

Sui had wanted to design for Target for some time but ???couldn??™t figure out what the concept would be,??? she said. When the retailer approached her with Designer Collaborations and the muse element, the project began to make more sense. During a trip to China in January when she was launching a fragrance, Sui said she was bombarded by teenagers asking the same questions related to ???Gossip Girl???: ???Where??™s Williamsburg???? and ???What??™s uptown???? 

Sui has become a serious fan of the show. ???I thought the characters were so dynamic, so different and each represented a different aspect of my design,??? said the designer. In the Target collection, Serena??™s European heritage and relaxed American style led to a leather jacket, $149.99; Blair??™s love of old-time glamour and modern fabrics informed a metallic jacquard dress, $59.99; Jenny??™s penchant for uptown couture inspired a silk off-the-shoulder striped dress, $59.99, and Vanessa??™s bold personality is reflected in a sleeveless silk wrap dress, $59.99. 

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Message at WWDMAGIC: High Fashion at Value Prices

by ANNE RILEY-KATZ and Khanh T.L. Tran

From WWD ISSUE 09/09/2009


LAS VEGAS ??” It was all about value at WWDMAGIC.

Apparel and accessories retailers and manufacturers at the trade show here found common ground in the new reality ??” consumer frugality ??” and in how to deal with it.

Although major challenges persist as the economy struggles for consistent traction, the three-day show at the Las Vegas Convention Center last week appeared more upbeat. But price sensitivity and cost-cutting remained key themes. 

???Consumers are absolutely demanding high fashion looks at value prices,??? said Todd Frank, a buyer for Canadian chain Ardene, which owns and operates more than 400 stores, adding that quick response was essential.

???I have to carry a wide mix of merchandise, and integrating lower price points has been the key to my success over the past year,??? said Daniel Vargas, who owns V State boutique in Minneapolis. ???Customers are trading down, so you have to respond to their wants, which can be hard if you don??™t you have the right vendors.???

Vargas picked up sweaters and leather jackets that wholesaled from $20 to $50 at the CMT Apparel booth, while keeping an eye out for smaller accessories and accent pieces.

True Religion, the Vernon, Calif.-based premium denim brand, stopped using factors in mid-July, opting to expand its own credit division and work closely with international distributors as well as small boutiques that pay with credit cards or cash on delivery. 

Seven For All Mankind, the Los Angeles-based jeans maker, is monitoring inventory on a weekly basis, trimmed expenses and changed core pricing. A year ago, its retail prices ranged from $150 to $350, with most between $225 and $250. Now, the sweet spot for prices lies between $150 and $189 ??” a change typical of similarly positioned brands. 

???We have some styles over $200, but they have to be very special and innovative,??? said Topher Gaylord, president of VF Corp.-owned Seven For All Mankind.

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Varvatos Opens in Vegas, Launches E-Commerce


From WWD ISSUE 09/09/2009



John Varvatos at the Hard Rock. Photo By Bryan Harraway

John Varvatos has changed his tune about the ???Bowery concept??? as his brand moves forward on multiple fronts. 

After the John Varvatos store at 315 Bowery, the former home of the historic club CBGB, opened to great fanfare, the designer said he was resisting pressure to replicate the environment elsewhere, insisting the concept depended on site-specific authenticity ??” until a second Bowery-concept store opened last week at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. 

Like the original Bowery store, the 3,000-square-foot Las Vegas store carries all three tiers of John Varvatos labels and is infused with historic flavor via flea market finds, rough-hewn materials and music memorabilia. Both stores are outfitted with a stage and specialized equipment for concerts, parties and live broadcasts of Varvatos??™ satellite radio show, ???Born in Detroit.??? One obvious difference between the locations is a wall of video screens in Las Vegas. In addition, the store is the exclusive Nevada dealer of James Trussart guitars. 

Bruce Weldyn, director of stores, said the company chose the Hard Rock ???because of the entire spirit of this hotel and the music venue.??? Like 315 Bowery, where ???you can feel the decades of history,??? Varvatos wanted to be sure the Vegas store ???had the same spirit,??? Weldyn said. Regarding future Bowery-concept stores, he said it would depend on the right venue, but none are in the works. 

On another front, John Varvatos has revealed the launch of e-commerce. Customers in the U.S. will be able to order goods from all three Varvatos labels, including footwear and fragrances, as of Sept. 15. 

On the same date, a winner will be crowned in the brand??™s Free the Noise global talent search, which, over the past three months, has been narrowed from 200 entries to four finalists. The four bands will perform on Sept. 15 at 315 Bowery in competition for a contract with Island Records and to be the face of John Varvatos??™ contemporary label, Star USA. The four finalists are The Fast Romantics (from Calgary, Canada); Reckless Sons (New York); Howlers (Santiago, Chile), and Scrambled Eggs (Beirut). The judges will be Varvatos, Perry Farrell of Jane??™s Addiction, Spin editor Doug Brod, Island Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid, photographer Mick Rock and The Bravery??™s Sam Endicott.


–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Sep 09 2009 in Uncategorized
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