Alvin Valley has returned to the helm of his namesake company, which has been plagued by design and distribution problems since The Moret Group purchased a half-stake two years ago."Once any young designer gets in a partnership with a large corporation, you can lose sight of everything," Valley said. "It got too big too fast. There was so much money available to us that we got overwhelmed, and there were many layers between me and the product. I got so distracted doing so many other things, only working two or three days a week, that I didn't notice that the fit and design quality were changed. The image went from young designer to more mature."By taking the reins again as full-time designer, Valley hopes to stop the declines caused by flawed fits and merchandising.In partnership with the $300 million Moret Group, Valley has been working full time for the last month, designing the Alvin Valley Collection, As Is by Alvin Valley and Alvin, a contemporary collection launching at Nordstrom and Macy's this spring.Valley, dubbed "the king of pants,'' has downsized his staff, cutting 12 to 15 design, sales and merchandising posts. Joann Langer, who was named president in 2006, left last spring, Valley said. Valley rehired his original production team, reinstating his original patterns and fits, and now has a group of about seven working with him at his showroom at 623 Broadway in Manhattan. Valley is also returning the brand's focus to pants rather than the other categories the brand had expanded into. Moret is still handling back office design. "Moret brought in a few people to take us from cult pant status to a major brand, but instead we lost our DNA and our core customer," Valley said. "We took a product from a specific fit to a commercial fit."The Moret Group in January 2006 bought a half-stake in Alvin Valley for about $23 million from Valley's business partner Richard Rosenthal, who started the business with him in 2002."We had a meeting of the minds and said 'let's go back to what was successful,'" said Gary Herwitz, executive vice president of The Moret Group. "Now we are getting back to the roots of the brand."The brand is carried in about 250 doors compared with an estimated 400 when the line was acquired. More important than the quantity of the doors, Valley said, was the quality of those lost, including Fred Segal, Ron Herman, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue. "We weren't any longer selling to the edgier, fashion-y stores," said Valley, who hopes to regain the accounts now that he is back designing full time starting with the fall 2008 collection. "Not having that retail visibility really hurt."The core brand has experienced about a 50 percent volume loss in the past two years (the company declined to quantify specific volume), offset partly by the launch of Alvin, Herwitz said. The dress cycle exacerbated the losses for the pants-based business.
Exclusive: @isabelmarant and @lorealmakeup have teamed up to create a capsule makeup collection. "She is rather natural in the day but doesn't have time to go back home before going out [in the evening] and redo her entire beauty look," said Marant on the 5 products included in the collection, which will launching in September. Read @jenniferbethweil's interview with the designer on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty
After 17 years, Tomas Maier is leaving @bottegaveneta. “I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve,” said François-Henri Pinault, head of parent company @kering_official. Head to WWD.com for more on his departure. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: Davide Maestri)
@shaymitchell is no stranger to teaming up with beauty brands, but she’s made her latest partnership official: She’s signed with @buxomcosmetics as global creative brand ambassador, WWD learned exclusively. Mitchell and Buxom will collaborate on campaign development, social media strategy and content and new product and shade development. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
Today we’re at the WWD Retail 20/20 Forum where industry leaders will be talking about the future of shopping for fashion, footwear and beauty. Tune in on Instagram Live at 9 am and 3:30 pm to hear from two of our speakers –– @therealreal’s Rati Levesque and @bandier’s Stephen Ippolito. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Seen last night at @coach’s launch party for “Life Coach,” an interactive pop-up in Soho: @joansmalls. Open now, visitors of the pop-up can engage in themes of “creativity and self-expression,” through tarot, carnival games, live performances and art. See the rest of the party pics on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @vnina)
“We figure there’s enough cynicism to go around the world right now let’s go out there and be ourselves, let’s be enthusiastic, let’s have positive energy, which is something I think a lot of people really want and need right now,” said musician @joshgroban ahead of hosting the Tony Awards with @sarabareilles. Read @leighn’s interview with Groban on how he picked his look for the night, his next record and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye #tonyawards (📷: @vnina)
“Rock as an attitude and not a uniform. Street as a style and not just clothing. Sportswear as the new normality,” @paul_surridge said of his first @roberto_cavalli men’s wear collection, previewed here. The British designer joined the brand as the creative director in May 2017, and is gearing up to unveil his debut for the label with a runway show at the Florence Charterhouse on June 13 at #PittiUomo. Head to WWD.com to read more about his collection and see more sneak peek photos. #wwdfashion (📷: @simonelezzi)