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.”
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion