Sir James Dyson is ready to take on the New York retail landscape — with a sharp eye on the beauty business.At a cocktail party lauding the new Dyson Demo store at 640 Fifth Avenue — it officially opened to the public today, Dec. 14 — the inventor and founder of the self-named technology company recalled that his foray into the New York fashion world was via designer Tara Subkoff’s spring 2003 show, in which topless models toted the company’s vacuums down the catwalk. “We’ve got knickers on one side and Nike trainers on the other, so now that we’re back in New York we’re quite respectable,” he said, citing the Victoria’s Secret and Nike outposts the Dyson Demo store is sandwiched between.Since that one-off spectacle in 2003, Dyson has further solidified its presence in the fashion world with its Supersonic hairdryer. Launched last year, the Supersonic is now a fixture backstage at fashion shows and at salons favored by the fashion pros, such as Christophe Robin in Paris and Blackstones in New York. And at the store opening last night, Dyson himself was embraced enthusiastically by Jen Atkin, the Kardashian hairstylist and Ouai hair care founder who is now an influencer in her own right.But what does Dyson’s technology — used to power items like air purifiers and, most recently, cars — have to do with beauty? “We solve lots of problems — we tend to look for things that don’t work very well and redesign them with new technology.”Dyson told WWD that he sees “quite a few opportunities” for his company in the beauty and personal-care categories — but true to his signature secretive nature, he didn’t reveal them, only hinting at further advancement into the hair category. “We do know that hair is being damaged — we’re doing more [in that area].”The Supersonic’s engine — of which there is a life-sized model situated in the front entrance of the Fifth Avenue store — is designed to dry hair faster and with less damage than the average blow-dryer on the market. Dyson said his Demo store retail strategy was born out of his desire for a place where consumers could test the products and see the efficacy for themselves. The Fifth Avenue store has a two-chair salon area stationed in the back, where shoppers can get blowouts from stylists using the Supersonic. “The hair dryer is very expensive, but when you actually feel how light and fast it is and see what a good job it does, you might think it’s worth it,” said Dyson of the tool, which retails for $399.Dyson has always been a fan of stand-alone retail — in Paris in the Seventies, he opened a showroom where consumers could test vacuums before buying. “This was my converse reaction to retailers having discount signs and prices — I wanted the products to be treated with respect. Going to retail is certainly counterculture — stores are closing,” Dyson acknowledged. “We need to fill their places.”Dyson has been rolling out Demo stores since 2015 — there are locations in London, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, Jakarta, Toronto, San Francisco and Tyson’s Corner Mall in Virginia. The Fifth Avenue stores store is also a move into experiential retail. There is a choose-your-own-debris station for testing vacuums — there are 64 variations of dust and debris one can select before taking a Dyson vacuum for a spin on four floor types — and a station where shoppers can customize the “wands” — the piece that connects the machine to the clean heads.For all of Dyson's technology and engineering prowess, James Dyson doesn't have much use for it in his personal life. "I get annoyed with it," he said of his smartphone, which he uses for "painting and newspaper apps," and on which he reads only "six e-mails a day." "I might receive 30, but I only do the six — that way it never turns into 300."
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)
@denimdaysfestival, which initially launched in Amsterdam in 2014 and has since expanded to New York, is heading to Nashville for the very first time. The two-day festival, which will take place in November, will feature brand activations, hands-on workshops by artisans and denim mills, a vintage market, live entertainment, and local food and drinks. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Later this month, the popular “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibit will be reopening. @historicroyalpalaces, the charity that manages @kensingtonroyal, has been working towards adding new, never-before-seen garments to the exhibit, including this dress created by Gianni Versace for a fund-raising dinner at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The exhibit will reopen on April 26 at Kensington Palace @wwdfashion
“Our family has always been engaged and interested in the world around us. [My brothers and I] were always encouraged to have our own opinion at a young age, which is not always something a child is asked — especially to have an opinion with reasoning behind it,” said @yarashahidi on becoming an activist. We caught up with the 18 year old last week, where she talked about her road to acting, how “Black-ish” led her to start conversations about identity and more. Head to WWD.com to read what she had to say #wwdeye (📷: @chelsealaurenla)