VCS Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Camuto Group, has acquired a majority stake in Development Clothing LLC, a contemporary apparel brand designed by Erica Davies, who will stay on as creative director.
A minority stake in the firm remains in the hands of Development's founding partners, Andrew Crane and Stuart Gaddis, and Davies, who has been designing the line since early last year.
The goal with New York-based VCS as the parent for Development is to grow it into a full lifestyle brand by adding product categories such as footwear and accessories.
"The brand has a great position in the contemporary women's marketplace," said Vince Camuto, chief executive officer of the Camuto Group. "We don't want it to be huge, but the design sensibility of the brand is a great format for growth into new categories."
Camuto declined to specify the brand's annual volume, but said it was "in the teens," or somewhere between $13 million and $19 million. He and Bob Galvin, president of the company, said they plan to grow the product within the high-end specialty doors that already sell Development, which include Barneys New York, Henri Bendel and Fred Segal.
"There is tremendous growth potential overseas," Galvin said. "It has a small presence now in Asia, the Middle East and in Europe, but we feel we can really grow our overseas distribution."
Development, based in Los Angeles, has been in business for five years. The company has two brands, Development by Erica Davies, which wholesales for $70 to $525, and a higher-end dress collection called Erica Davies Collection, which wholesales for about $300 to $700.
The Camuto Group designs, develops and distributes women's footwear, which is sold in more than 5,400 doors worldwide. The company also owns the Vince Camuto and Arturo Chiang brands, and is the master licensee for the Jessica Simpson collection. In addition, Camuto develops and manages the Antonio Melani and Gianni Bini brands, and holds the footwear license for BCBGirls, BCBG Max Azria and Nicole Miller.
“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