“It’s not the Seventies feminist movement anymore. We need to help change behavior so that all women can be successful and wonderful partners,” said Kamali, chief executive officer and designer of Norma Kamali Inc., during a panel — moderated by Christopher West, partner and managing director of Marvin Traub Associates — where key themes included entrepreneurship and empowerment. “I was this big red lipstick girl with red nails [before 9/11]. I thought I’d die with red lips and nails.”
Alongside Kamali sat Claire Chambers, founder and ceo of lingerie store Journelle, and Michael Kaplan, cofounder and ceo of plus-size fast-fashion retailer Fashion to Figure. All three are on a mission to empower women, whether it be through highly trained sales associates and customer service or products at an approachable price point (Fashion to Figure has an average $50 price point, and everything in Kamali’s Kamali Kulture line retails for less than $100).
Chambers agreed with Kamali, noting that beauty from the inside out is one of the fundamental beliefs of the three-store company she founded in 2007. Obsessed with lingerie since the age of 14, she found herself in a department store lingerie section after outgrowing Victoria’s Secret “simply because there was no other place to go.”
It was at this time that Chambers decided to create a Sephora for lingerie, a multibrand, omnichannel lingerie company that she describes as a beautiful environment that curates the best designers and provides great service. She said the store’s mission is to give women the first thing they put on every day — and to make them feel good about themselves. She witnesses firsthand how hard women are on themselves and said shopping for lingerie is often a “hyper-emotional” experience.
“There’s not a woman who can’t be taken down by a bad hair day, but when she feels good about herself, she’s invincible,” said Kamali.
For Kaplan, who cofounded Fashion to Figure in 2002 (and is also the great-grandson of Lena Bryant’s plus-size clothing chain Lane Bryant), the fashion and retail channel hadn’t caught up with the revolution of self-image. A real market for fast fashion in this space stems from consumers “not wanting to hide from a mainstream fashion experience.”
“[We have] fast fashion price points — [like] Topshop or H&M for large sizes. It’s an intimate store experience — a high-touch experience with personal stylists in a contemporary, trendy environment,” Kaplan said of the stores, where clothing starts at size 12.
Customer service is equally important for Journelle. Chambers said it’s the foundation of her company, and all sales associates undergo three weeks of training, followed by three weeks of on-floor training.
“Service consultation not only drives transactions but helps customers get the right products,” said Chambers. “We surveyed women about shopping for lingerie, and one thing I didn’t realize until our second year in business is that the number-one element that defined whether a woman had a great or poor experience was the service she received.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)