>> French contemporary line Maje recently collaborated with brand face Vanessa Traina on a capsule collection, and has its first US store in the pipeline for September, but what will the upcoming flagship be stocking? From the looks of the Fall 2011 collection, chic ivory lambswool coats, colorblocked bubble jackets, and easy scarlet red dresses. The full lookbook in the slideshow.
Posts for May 26th 2011
>> In recent years, Hakaan, Giles Deacon, and Gareth Pugh have all been awarded the ANDAM Prize — the largest international fashion prize of its kind — and as a result moved their fashion shows to Paris. Who will be next? The 2011 nominees have just been announced, and include Adam Kimmel, Anthony Vaccarello, Commuun, Jeremy Laing, Matthew Harding, and Yiqing Yin. The 22 jury members — which this year include Pierre Berge, Delfine Arnault, Emmanuelle Alt, Humberto Leon, Sarah Lerfel, and Hilary Alexander, will meet on June 28 to select the 2011 prize winner, who will receive 200,000 euros (approx. $282,000); a donation of 10,000 euros ($14,100) worth of Swarovski crystals for their Spring 2012 collection; and mentorship by former Chloe CEO Ralph Toledano for two seasons on creative and commercial development. [Filep Motwary]
>> Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are wary of the press — and they keep their presentations for The Row very intimate, in part because, Ashley says, "I don’t like being around a lot of people." But they sat down with Style.com recently to talk lengthily about everything from Twitter to that moment when they first genuinely burst on the fashion scene — when they started going to NYU. Of that time, Ashley says of their highly-layered "bobo chic" looks: "That moment for us was us waking up, going to school, and not wanting anyone to take our picture. Kind of a piece of protection." And Mary-Kate adds: "For me, it was so cold, like the wind chill. How could you not put on 20 things when you’re going from Los Angeles to walking through the snow? . . . I think it was probably that. And laziness." More highlights from the interview, below.
On hanging out with other designers: A: "I mean, honestly, I don’t leave my house." MK: "We’re either here or at the house." A: "I’m friendly with a lot of people, but when it comes down to it, you won’t see me actually in that [scene]."
On joining Twitter: A: "That gives me so much anxiety." MK: "We’ve spent our whole lives trying to not let people have that accessibility, so it would go against everything we’ve done in our lives to not be in the public."
On doing a full runway show for The Row: A: "I really don’t like going to runway shows. I don’t like being around a lot of people, I don’t like being in crowds, so that’s another more personal part of it. It’s hard for me . . . [But] there are a couple of shows that I’ve been to that are just stunning . . . so if you’re going to the right thing at the right time, it can be fantastic." MK: "We just feel bad for all of you guys who have to schlep everywhere and then write your reviews in the car on a BlackBerry."
On selling one of their brands to a fashion conglomerate: A: "I think it depends on the brand. Right now we have no plans for anything. The main thing is we’re really focused on making the strongest brands we possibly can at the moment, and we’re just getting into accessories."
On why their Spring 2011 presentation for The Row got canceled and moved to Paris: A: "Samples were really delayed based off of new techniques we were using, and we decided instead of putting a halfway thing together and rushing through it, to move it, and we were fortunate to be able to move it to Paris. Thank God for our team. Everyone pulled together, and we were able to deliver a beautiful presentation in Paris . . ."
On the design process for The Row: A: "It all starts with the fabrics . . . Then we go into kind of silhouette development, so we start figuring out our silhouettes, what we’re liking, what we’re leaning towards, an evolution of the previous season, certain pieces, so it really starts with this stylized proportion. Then, through that process, we start our pattern making off the silhouettes that we’re liking and the consistent themes that we start finding, the shapes. So we start twisting the fabrics and then we start trying different fabrics and patterns. And once we have all the fabrics, we have about three weeks to produce the collection."
On The Row's brand consistency: MK: "If you go through our entire collection, you’ve seen it all before. Meaning, pieces repeat. That fur T-shirt, for example, that’s this T-shirt [points to plain one she’s wearing] from a couple of seasons ago, so it’s always consistent. It’s just about how we can evolve and also give the option to either buy this version or that version, creating a story."
On their long hours spent managing multiple brands: A: "I don’t think it’s the creative process that has ever gotten to us. More than anything, it’s about trying to find balance with work and how we can personally stay balanced while having our corporations grow, and I think that’s been the biggest thing that we are constantly aware of. We have to put boundaries on scheduling. We work crazy hours every week, so it’s been more about figuring out when we need to put our foot down. 'We can’t add this extra meeting. It’s one too many meetings in a day; push it later.' So it’s been about that. And with The Row, it’s about how to elevate the process with growth without putting too much on the overhead."
On being women designers: A: "I think the way being women has helped us in our designs is that we do a lot of research on what women like, what women don’t like."
On whether there will be more women designers in the future: A: "It doesn’t seem that way. Like when you look at the up-and-coming designers, there’s not a lot of women."
On John Galliano: A: “I think he’s an amazing designer.” MK: “I think he’s a brilliant designer.”
>> Although Prada has had no comment on the matter, it's reportedly prepping for an initial public offering in Hong Kong on June 23 or 24. With that long-awaited event on the horizon, Intesa Sanpaolo Group, which owns 5.1 percent of Prada and is one of the banks leading the IPO (Miuccia Prada and husband and Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli control the other 95 percent of the company), has reportedly estimated Prada to be valued at 10.7 billion euros ($15.1 billion). This follows after a record year of profits and sales in 2010 — Prada reported a 150.4 percent surge in net profits to 250.8 million euros ($331 million), and revenues for 2010 totaled 2.05 billion euros ($2.71 billion), up 31.1 percent compared with the year before. The Italian house, which said it was in debt by 408.6 million euros (approx. $575.6 million) in March, is also estimated to be debt free by 2014. [WWD, Bloomberg]
>> Rachel Zoe has "no idea" what annual sales might be for her new eponymous collection, which hits a long list of stores in July: Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Intermix, Selfridges, Kirna Zabete, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Shopbop.com. But she says she went numb when she heard who had bought the line: “It was this dream that I never thought would be reality because I was petrified — I was. I feel so complete now becoming a designer and having my son. I’m that happiest that I’ve ever been in my life.”
Neiman Marcus, for one, is launching Zoe's sportswear, handbags, and shoes at all 41 of its doors, plus online and at Bergdorf Goodman; "The rollout across the entire Neiman Marcus Group is a rare endorsement of a fledgling brand," WWD notes. Why the decision? "She is a real talent,” Ken Downing, SVP and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, notes of Zoe. “She understands the customer and she’s brought an effortless chic to the collection. The clothes are going to appeal to women of many ages. And, she’s got an amazing name.”
Next up for Zoe? The fourth season of The Rachel Zoe Project, which will begin airing on Bravo in July; and jewelry for Fall 2012. “I wish it were for spring,” Zoe says. “I am dying to do jewelry. I’m gagging.”
>> Pamela Love's much-anticipated collaboration with Topshop (her first collaboration ever) just hit the retailer's site online in limited quantities — in some cases, only 50 or 100 pieces were made. Many of the jewels are hidden within Topshop's "Secret Store," which also features limited-edition creations from Ann-Sofie Back, Michael Van Der Ham, Tom Scott, and Meadham Kirchhoff.
>> To celebrate its official launch, London agency Viva Model Management has released a series of its talent — including Natalia Vodianova, Raquel Zimmermann, and Maryna Linchuk — captured without any makeup or hair styling, and sans any kind of retouching. Scott Trindle shot the collection of black and white images over the past year in his Dalston flat, when each model was visiting London.
"[Trindle's] images stood out because it was just so interesting and rare for us to see the girls like that; he shot them with no additional hair, make-up or styling," Viva's director Natalie Hand explained. "They were shot exactly as they were in person, exactly how they were when they walked through his door. And they looked really beautiful. The blemishes added to their charm. And you could definitely learn something about the model's real character from the pictures."