Spanning about 30 models, the debut collection includes structured, ladylike day bags, weaponlike evening clutches and an “easy and cool sports line,” according to Formichetti, who slots the style based on Gaga’s assets in the latter category. “She doesn’t know yet,” he demurred in a recent interview.
Formichetti also confessed he’s an unlikely leather goods designer, nonplussed and mystified by the handbag craze that has gripped the industry for years. Answering demand from Mugler’s ready-to-wear clients — and women in the fast-moving digital and pop culture universes he orbits — he took the plunge.
“Now I’m completely obsessed,” he confessed. “You can really tell a lot about people from their bags.”
Formichetti noted he had little archive material upon which to draw. The few “vanity cases” created by house founder Thierry Mugler were designed for the runway only.
No matter. The brand’s legacy — futuristic, powerful and even robotic women — offers rich references, reflected in hardware that resembles animal claws, piercings and industrial machinery. Glossy leather etched with a mesh pattern further enhance the look of tomorrow.
“It’s a little dangerous feeling, but I didn’t want to go too far out with designs — yet,” Formichetti said with a conspiratorial laugh. “It has a little bit of a punk rock feeling, but it’s still quite chic.”
Shapes include an elongated vanity case called Agent 10 and an aerodynamic Naboo clutch in metallic lizard skin. Retail prices are to range from about 700 euros to 1,200 euros, or $900 to $1,550 at current exchange rates.
“It’s so cute, I would totally wear this,” Formichetti said, slinging a small postman style over his head and positioning it on his hip. “I want that size and I want to graffiti everything.”
Formichetti characterized the bag venture as another signpost of maturity for the brand, which stormed onto the fashion scene with tattooed zombie models, a turn by Gaga on the catwalks and an online onslaught.
“The first year I wanted to scream and tell everyone ‘we’re here’ with the digital,” he said, alluding to studio cams, crowd sourcing, live-streaming and such. “Now we want everyone to look at the clothes and wear them because they’re f---ing amazing!”
Mugler is also planning its first fashion ad campaign for spring, which will help introduce the accessories. About 50 retailers worldwide carry Mugler women’s wear.
Next up: Formichetti plans to introduce a range of leather goods for men.
@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