DALLAS — Not every designer knows from childhood that his or her future lies in pins and needles. Sometimes, the industry just sucks them in. That's the case with Mary Herff and Randi Christiansen, who flirted with fashion for years before taking the plunge.
"We had worked in sister industries, and we wanted to work in fashion," said Herff. "Our whole concept is to do fashion contemporary basics that offer accessible price, sustainable fabrics, versatility and functionality in a tonal palette that they can throw on instead of maybe a T-shirt. Something they can wear season after season because of the construction and colors."
The two met 10 years ago while they were earning their M.B.A.s at the University of Texas in Austin. Both women are veterans of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., where Christiansen served as global marketing director for Estée Lauder-brand color cosmetics and La Mer skin care, and Herff ran global marketing for Jo Malone. Herff also logged six years as West Coast publicity director for 20th Century Fox Studios in the Nineties.
From their home base in Austin, where they each relocated in recent years with Texan husbands, the pair launched Herff Christiansen with a handful of pieces that caught the attention of Forty Five Ten here and By George in Austin.
"We liked that it was perfect summer-into-fall transition for Dallas — crisp and clean," said Brian Bolke, co-owner of Forty Five Ten. "It is the perfect neutral collection for bold accessories — also perfect for the client that didn't embrace the color and pattern theme for spring."
Launched last year with one pima cotton rib-knit tank, the label now has 14 accounts and a transactional Web site, herffchristiansen.com.
"Essentially we have seven pieces for spring '08 and eight for fall, but some of our most forward pieces are the ones that seem to do the very best and [are] what our customers are interested in," Herff explained.
Those would be woven Peruvian cotton cowl-neck and V-neck tunics, which were introduced this spring and recolored for fall. Herff Christiansen also offers pima cotton Ts and tanks with silver stitching, a cargo pant and shirts in black, gray, white and other neutrals. Wholesale prices are $20 to $75. There are also six soft leather accessories wholesaling from $25 to $125.Herff projects retail sales this year will be $200,000 to $500,000. She is currently interviewing showrooms in New York and Los Angeles to represent the spring 2009 line.
"We are getting ready to grow our retail channel by going to market," she said. "Since we came from these other industries that prepared us from the business and marketing side, we decided we wanted to grow it organically and see what the response was."
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)