MILAN — Pomellato continues to expand in the U.S., this time with this month’s opening of a 540-square-foot unit in Miami, which follows an outpost in New York that bowed last year.
“Pomellato’s creativity stems from our renaissance culture and because we want to be coherent with our past,” said Francesco Minoli, Pomellato’s chief executive officer. “We want to keep targeting those markets that are sensitive to our product and understand it.”
The Miami boutique is expected to generate sales of about $3.8 million in the first year.
The store’s centerpiece is a crystal showcase, framed with black marble and veiled with wooded strips, while the rest of the space is modeled with black lacquered panels, champagne-tinted silk shantung and transparent canes that intersect light.
Pomellato also has ribbon-cutting ceremonies planned for Munich this spring and in Venice in the fall. Still tentative are a shop in Geneva and one on Madison Avenue in New York for Dodo, the firm’s younger line of flora-and-fauna-shaped charms. Pomellato has 26 stores worldwide.
Minoli said 2008 sales dipped 5.5 percent to 128 million euros, or $163 million, versus the previous year. Though Pomellato doesn’t release net profits, Minoli said they climbed 10 percent.
Given the times, Minoli is more concerned with maintaining the brand’s position in developed markets such as Europe and the U.S., rather than venturing into new ones.
Aware consumers are less averse to spending if they can “justify” the purchase, he is convinced the relationship between the assortment and the consumer has changed drastically. In the new collection, the quality bar was raised with classic techniques and more intricate shapes.
Standouts include the Tabou, anchored on rings and earrings made with burnished silver balls filled with rhodolite, amethyst or blue topaz pavé, and Ming, which recalls Oriental craftsmanship with lacy cut-out designs in rose gold for earrings and long necklaces.
Minoli thinks the recession will leave scars at all levels, but said that while the damage of the crisis is everyone’s focus, he’s pleased it will help regulate the world of finance. He is also convinced that exclusivity is a fundamental characteristic of luxury.
That explains the success of Pom Pom, Pomellato’s debut with one-of-a-kind pieces that included 80 elaborate rings, each made with rare stones. In one year, 72 pieces sold at an average price of 45,000 euros, or $57,427, each.
“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