After an intensive four-month revamp, Elizabeth Arden's venerable Red Door retail space in Manhattan has gotten a 21st-century makeover.
The challenge for the store — in operation since 1930 at 691 Fifth Avenue — was to "open up the retail space and reflect our brand strategy," said Elizabeth Park, executive vice president of global marketing and general manager of Elizabeth Arden U.S. "The new space allows us, essentially, to run an experimental retail lab."
The 1,000-square-foot store — which has about 630 square feet of selling space — will serve as a global flagship for Arden and a model for future retail stores worldwide, said Mary Beth Mazzotta, vice president of sales and marketing services. "We think it will also enhance sales for our department store partners, as customers — many of whom are tourists — will be able to easily see and experience our entire product range," Mazzotta said. "We will also take our best practices from this store to our department store counters."
Designed by Glenn Leitch, principal of Highland Associates, the store setup is strictly modern, yet includes nods to the Arden heritage — particularly in the liberal use of the color red, the founder's signature color. One of the renovation's central points is a 14-foot-high curved wall finished in shiny red lacquer. Intended to resemble a curving ribbon, the wall — fabricated and executed by Dan Gutfreund of Industry Outfitters — includes nooks for makeup artist consultations, products and a galley that will feature changing displays of art, celebrities and philanthropic projects. Opposite the ribbon wall, a dramatic chrome and glass display wall backed by an LED light panel showcases products. Colors can be changed depending on the display or time of year, such as green and red for Christmas, noted Mazzotta. Nearby, huge video panels showcase runway clips and Arden commercials and promotional videos.
At the back of the store, a circular table with a dramatic chandelier above it showcases skin care. A wenge wood doorway leads to elevators to the Red Door Spa, the operation of which Arden licenses to a third party. Even the store's new phone number — 212-MS-Arden — echoes the theme.
Arden plans a gala opening for the store in March, although the space had its soft opening this month.
“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