“Project Runway” alumna Jillian Lewis helped Searle rack up $29,000 in retail sales at a trunk show last weekend.
The most fashion-forward item on the line was the bestseller — a $1,498 ruffled raincoat. A $700 knit dress, a version of which the designer wore on one of the show’s episodes, was also popular, as well as a $700 wrap cardigan, a $400 taffeta skirt dress and a $500 cable sweater with puffy sleeves.
Searle’s director of sales and marketing Rick Weinstein said, “In my 16 years at Searle, this is far and away the best trunk show performance for a brand new designer. Nothing has come close. This, tied along with the ‘Project Runway’ connection, makes this quite a compelling story because the reality is that she’s talented and her things sell.”
A Parsons The New School for Design grad, Lewis started sewing at 16, when her mother bought her a sewing machine on a whim. In school, she was also part of the “Parsons Design Star” project on MTV’s college network. Lewis auditioned for the third season of “Project Runway” but didn’t make the cut until the fourth season. In terms of creativity, she is said to be inspired by the illustrations of Ruben Toledo and Patrick Nagel, the architecture of Antoni Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava, and the art of Egon Schiele.
Her trunk show at Searle was a bit of a homecoming since Lewis worked there before her TV appearance. Her former employer was so pleased with the trunk show that it has been extended and another one is in the works, according to Weinstein.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast