MELBOURNE — Fashion executives revealed the ins and outs of designer collaborations and shed light on the corporate strategies of Hennes & Mauritz, Esprit, Acne and Bally at last month's L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Business Seminar.
Former H&M executives Jan Nord and Jörgen Andersson — both of whom have since decamped to Esprit, talked about what it was like working with Karl Lagerfeld and Rei Kawakubo and expressed dismay that Miuccia Prada turned down an offer. Her "design signatures would translate so well," reasoned Nord.
Taking the audience through a journey of H&M's fashion collaborations to date, Nord and Andersson offered insight on how some of fashion's most celebrated designers worked. Karl Lagerfeld "asked us how many suits we wanted, in blue or black, and then proceeded to design a collection in record time," said Nord. He recalled how Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons answered questions with either a "yes" or "no" while Lanvin's designer Alber Elbaz had the entire H&M team spellbound when he quipped in a meeting, "fashion is just a dream."
Esprit recently tapped Nord and Andersson to oversee brand and new business at Esprit.
"We plan to build on the roots of what Esprit used to be, that eco-friendly feeling of how it started in California in 1968, that lifestyle fits in very well with today," said Andersson.
Revealing their first strategy to revive the brand, the duo said Esprit bought the entire clip from Gostwyck Farm, a sustainable fine merino wool producer North-west of Sydney. A trio of graduates from London's Royal College of Art will design the wool into garments to be unveiled in a fashion show during London Fashion Week in September. The pieces will be part of Esprit's fall 2012 collection to be sold worldwide.
Mikael Schiller, ceo for Acne Studios opened the seminar with an account of the 15-year-old brand's history of not playing by the rulebook. He described how Acne racked up a million dollars in debt in the early years, only to claw its way back evolving into a multi-platform brand with a turnover of $100 million in 2010 with plans for further growth.
"We want to grow from being something Scandinavian and niche to being something much larger," he said. Of the 30 Acne boutiques, Schiller noted all were successful except two. "Hamburg — because we discovered Acne needs to be in a city that we actually like," deadpanned Schiller, and the multi-level store in Dover Street, London. "We have a lot of respect for multi-level retailing," he said pausing to add, "now."
Later, Schiller told WWD Acne plans to move its pre-collection shows to New York. The executive said the company doesn't plan to add to its 700 wholesale clients in 45 countries this year and instead wants to build on existing clients' order volumes.
Bally creative directors Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz outlined their new design path for the 160-year-old luxury brand, which has 10 stores in Australia.
"In a sense we are trying to get to grips with Bally's DNA, pin it down and give it our voice," Fiddler told WWD.
The duo showed a Bally video meshing scenes from Belle du Jour, a herd of rare European bison in snow and Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti at work with stills of Bally's archived shoe models. Fidler, who together with Herz has been at Bally's design helm for 11 months, said some of the imagery inspired the brand's boutiques redesign to commence next year.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)