Unlikely fashion mogul Carlos Santana is bringing a shot of rock ’n’ roll to the handbag market.
The celebrated musician, whose eponymous shoe line at the Brown Shoe Co. Inc. bowed six years ago, has lent his name to a collection of totes, shoulder bags and purses designed and distributed by New York-based L & Leung Design Group. The debut fall collection, which consists of six groups, will hit Macy’s East and Macy’s West in October. The spring collection will be previewed by other retailers beginning today.
“As an artist, I’m inspired by style, color and passion,” said Santana, who has final approval on all the designs and whose old album covers, including some from the Seventies, inspired the collection. “I have found that it is wonderful to celebrate those qualities — which I most often express in my music — through fashion.”
“Carlos is all about making women feel good, so the collection had to be upbeat,” said L & Leung Design Group president Lisa Nunziata, who initiated the partnership with Santana after seeing his footwear in a department store. “I cold-called him, and we talked about a way to develop a line that reflects his taste. It was very important to Carlos that the bags be colorful.”
Nunziata is developing three different lines under the Santana name: the Carlos by Carlos Santana line, the fall collection, all made in fake leather; the Carlos Santana Gold line, which includes leather pieces and will be sold for spring 2009, and the Carlos Santana Platinum line, an as-yet-unproduced collection of specialty leather pieces. Carlos by Carlos Santana wholesales for between $35 and $65, while the Gold line will wholesale for between $60 and $135.
“My vision was that we were going to focus the whole collection on leather, but the economy changed my mind,” Nunziata explained of her decision to launch the collection with non-leather pieces. “Our customer wants to shop and look great, but she doesn’t want to spend $300 on a bag.” For fall, the bags are wrapped in eclectic prints including four-leaf clovers, embroidery, as well as solid colors, and in varied shapes, from a small square purse to a slouchy shoulder bag; one group features a studded guitar on black fake leather. For spring, the bags feature leopard prints and, true to Santana’s wish for color, plenty of multihued stripes.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast