Yigal Azrouel is moving into accessories with an unexpected collaborator — Swiss cobbler Walter Steiger.
Azrouël, who launched his own line in 1998, has long been a fan of Steiger, and sought him out in April while he was preparing his spring 2009 collection. “I love the movie ‘Blowup,’” says Azrouël, referring to the 1966 Italian film for which Steiger designed the shoes. “I didn’t want to work with a young or trendy designer. I wanted someone with great technique, who makes interesting shapes.”
For Azrouël’s collection, which debuted at his spring runway show, he and Steiger collaborated on two such shapes: a sculpted leather bootie on a thin, stacked heel, and a high-heeled sandal with wide leather straps. The boot, which will retail for $920, is available in a honey-brown color, while the black-and-white sandal will retail for $795. In an effort to grow the collection gradually, Azrouël is selling both styles only in his two retail stores, which are located in New York’s Meatpacking District and in Watermill, N.Y.
“I want to see what people think, if they like them,” Azrouël says of his decision to hold off on selling the shoes at other retailers, and he notes that Steiger’s previous collaborations with designers from Azzedine Alaïa to Oscar de la Renta were a factor in his selection. “My deal with [Steiger] is also exclusive, and so I am planning on doing more styles for fall, and then we’ll see if they go to other stores.”
For spring, Azrouël is also expanding his handbag and scarf collections, the latter of which is a bestseller in his boutiques. “Scarves are huge right now, because they aren’t as expensive as other accessories and they are really versatile,” says Azrouël, who uses bead-ing, embroidery, and fringe on them (there are 12 styles for spring). “With my clothes I’m all about draping, and scarves are an extension of that.”
As for the bags, photography — as in a camera case — served as inspiration for the spring line, which consists of five pieces retailing for between $700 and $1,375. They are sold in the designer’s stores as well as boutiques including Boston-based Gretta Luxe; Divine Girls and Carrots, both in San Francisco, and Dallas’ 45-10. “The shape and construction of old camera cases are very inspiring, and I wanted to re-create that,” says Azrouël. In keeping with his relaxed urban aesthetic, he distressed the leather to create a “washed-out look.” Perfectly finished pieces aren’t his specialty: “These are cool, daytime bags that look like vintage.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia