“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.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews