LONDON — The summer sun bore down on the streets of Spitalfields, East London, and the fish and chips were lukewarm. It wasn’t exactly a typical June day in Britain — but it could not have been a better one for Bloomingdale’s.
One sunny June morning, they shot looks on Savile Row, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Coach & Horses pub on Bruton Street in Mayfair. Later that afternoon, they took to the pavement outside the grand East London homes of the early-18th-century Huguenot silk weavers, with their wooden concertina shutters and glass hurricane lamps lovingly restored by the current residents.
After London, the team moved on to the Sussex countryside, and to Liverpool’s Penny Lane. Shoots also took place in Snowdonia and Anglesey in Wales; at Eilean Donan Castle, near the Isle of Skye in the Western Highlands of Scotland, and at Aldourie Castle on the shores of Loch Ness.
“We were researching the trends for fall ’13, and a lot were inspired by Britain — there were tartans, plaids and tweeds. London Fashion Week is getting bigger, there are new designers coming up, and it’s The Beatles’ 50th anniversary. It was the perfect time to call out British fashion,” said Kevin Harter, vice president of fashion direction for men and home.“This is one of the most special catalogues we have ever done.”
He said the store tried to strike a balance between heritage names such as Hardy Amies, Turnbull & Asser, Burberry and Liberty, and up-and-comers such as Farrell, a line created by English musician Robbie Williams; Oliver Spencer, and Kent & Curwen.
The promotion will kick off during the first week of September at all 37 Bloomingdale’s stores, with the catalogues sent to Bloomingdale’s top customers and cardholders.
Although the catalogue focuses on men’s wear, women’s brands that will be included in the promotion include AllSaints, Karen Millen, Reiss and Ted Baker for apparel, as well as The Cambridge Satchel Co., Links of London and Stella McCartney in accessories. In home, exclusive products will include pieces from Fringe, Alessi, Royal Doulton and William Yeoward.
The women’s catalogue features the British model Lily Donaldson on the cover wearing a sweater by Aqua with the Union Jack shaped like a heart.
The retailer has also teamed up with Visit Britain, the national tourism board, to create custom travel experiences with a fashion focus. The travel packages, inspired by the landscapes and venues that appear in the men’s catalogue, will be available exclusively to Bloomingdale’s customers through American Express.
There is a partnership planned with Clear Channel Media & Entertainment where Bloomingdale’s will create a custom station on iHeartRadio featuring hand-selected music from the U.K. and two concerts in October that will be live-streamed on iHeartRadio.com and bloomingdales.com/ukrocks.
The concert on Oct. 10 will feature Emeli Sandé and Jake Bugg, while Rita Ora will perform on Oct. 17. Both concerts will take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York.
Five winners will be flown by the store to New York to attend their choice of the concerts, and will receive a $500 Bloomingdale’s gift card.
The store will also launch Talk is Chic, interviews with designers including Sir Paul Smith and Christopher Bailey, and pop stars including Sandé and Bugg on the impact of Britain on fashion, music and culture on bloomingdales.com, on screens in-store and on iHeartRadio.
“Christopher talked about music and fashion, British culture, the Internet — his passions and his favorite spots in London,” said Harter, adding that he spent an afternoon with Smith. “How charming is Sir Paul Smith?” he said. “I had a one-hour walk-through of his studio, and the whole experience was so special.”
As reported, Bloomingdale’s has created more than 250 exclusives with some 50 British brands, including Beatles-inspired umbrellas with London Undercover; four suits from Hardy Amies, named the John, Paul, George and Ringo ($1,195); Beatles cuff links from Deakin & Francis (retail $300 to $350); printed bags, shirts and bomber jackets from Paul Smith ($175 to $575); an assortment of T-shirts from Ted Baker ($99), and patterned shirts from Thomas Pink ($250).
There is also a collection of Beatles album covers, reproduced with permission of Apple Corp. Ltd., which hold printed pocket squares produced by Turnbull & Asser, that will retail for $150.
At the shoot in East London, a photographer snapped model Alex Dunstan decked in a leather jacket, waistcoat and trousers by Farrell as Blur’s “Country House” played in the background. Fast-forward a few minutes and the model rapidly changed into a two-tone gray Bespoken topcoat and claret-colored trousers, with blue shoes from Local Uniform.
Decked in his autumnal duds, the model gamely toted a newspaper cone filled with fish and chips — the traditional way of serving the famous dish, but one that has all but disappeared due to health fears linked with the newspaper ink.
“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