LONDON — Alexander McQueen is moving west of the Rocky Mountains.
The London designer has two new units planned: Las Vegas, which will open a few days before Christmas, and Los Angeles, which opens in April.
"It's the right time for us to strengthen our presence in the U.S., which has always been an important market for Alexander McQueen," said Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive of the Gucci-owned fashion house. "New York already performs very well, and we want more of a branded presence in the U.S."
Both stores have been designed by William Russell and resemble the McQueen flagships in New York, London and Paris — which all look as if they've been carved from a hollowed-out block of white stone.
The Las Vegas unit will span 2,600 square feet and will be located at the Wynn Las Vegas Esplanade. It will be one floor, and carry the women's, men's, accessories and eyewear collections. The store opens Dec. 22.
Akeroyd said the brand already had a strong relationship with the Wynn; the collection was already selling at the Wynn's multibrand designer store. "And we wanted to roll out from there," he said.
In Los Angeles, the 3,100-square-foot store will be located on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place. It is a new build. The storefront is glazed and rounds the corner with a curved, glass window, maximizing the light. There is also a large skylight at the entrance. There is private parking, a private entrance and a VIP fitting room.
Akeroyd said L.A. was a "logical move" for the brand because of its West Coast client base and regular celebrity dressing.
He added there were no more stores planned — at least for the moment — in the U.S. or abroad. In September, McQueen opened a 4,000-square-foot franchised store in Moscow, with local partners The Arts Group.
Although Akeroyd would not disclose sales figures or projections for the new stores, he did say accessories now account for 30 percent of total sales, with the rest coming predominantly from women's ready-to-wear.
"We only really launched shoes and bags three years ago, but it's becoming a key part of our business, and we hope the new openings will help continue that trend," he said.
“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