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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)