“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.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)