NEW YORK -- "Our timing was terrible," Molton Brown chief executive officer Charles Denton said candidly about a U.S. relaunch of the London brand's revamped color cosmetics line, which started selling exclusively in Barneys New York on Sept....
NEW YORK -- "Our timing was terrible," Molton Brown chief executive officer Charles Denton said candidly about a U.S. relaunch of the London brand's revamped color cosmetics line, which started selling exclusively in Barneys New York on Sept. 7.
Yet, hindsight is 20/20 and "our plans are long term," said Denton. "New York is the most important city in the world and we will continue to expand there."
Now more than ever, Denton believes this is the type of attitude that's needed to build the firm's U.S. business into a $10 million operation. And though the brand's bath, body and skin care offerings at Neiman Marcus and Sephora have been staples of its business here, the color line is seen as the key to reaching that goal by the end of this year, by putting a $3 million to $4 million jolt into the $6 million currently done at retail in the U.S. Molton has worldwide sales of $30 million to $35 million.
In the past few months, slight strategic changes have been inevitable in a market that's markedly different in the aftermath of the fall. For example, as part of a plan to open a SoHo boutique, Molton Brown had been eyeing two sites there. As rent prices have swayed, a waiting game has begun. Also pending is a merger of the brand's U.S. and European operations.
When changes Denton has less control over occur, he takes it as further evidence that thinking long term makes sense. A Molton Brown travel spa in New York's John F. Kennedy Airport was supposed to be operating by now, but British Airways, in whose terminal the spa is planned, delayed the project until at least April. Denton takes this in stride, saying, "I'm not looking to win any sprint races."
By and large, plans for the color relaunch haven't changed all that much, considering the current business environment. Despite the September timing, the new color line "is doing quite well," said Denton. "It's slightly below expectations, but it's an important success." What's more, "we've managed to grow our [total] business 120 percent at Barneys," from the fall of 2000 to the fall of 2001. The color line will remain exclusively at Barneys in New York, Chicago and Beverly Hills until the spring, after which a careful rollout to select specialty stores -- perhaps a dozen in the next 5 months -- will take place.Since 1973, when Molton Brown was conceived as a London salon, the firm has looked to maintain a personal bond with consumers. "We've described ourselves as a partner for life," said Denton, who came aboard after the company was acquired from its original owners in 1989. "The next couple of years will be very exciting for us."
“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