Blumarine's U.S. retail arrival is a holiday story, of sorts.
Vacationing with her family in 2006, Adriana Alzetta, Blumarine's Milan showroom manager, was checking out the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Fla. The shopping center, with its gardens, towering Christmas tree and crowds, appealed to her personal aesthetics and business sense. "I asked my son, Filippo, who was in real estate in New York, 'Why not put a Blumarine store here?'" she recalled.
Fast-forward to one year later: Blumarine's first U.S. store has been open since Christmas Eve. Filippo Alzetta has an exclusive franchise option for the Americas and hopes to expand to New York, Los Angeles and possibly Las Vegas or Hawaii.
"The goal is three to four boutiques in the next few years," he said.
The speedy launch stemmed from demand, said Adriana Alzetta, who added that visiting Latin American customers are a major factor. The 2,000-square-foot store is the company's biggest outside Tokyo.
Architect Elena Busato's new prototype features pale blue Venetian plaster walls and ceiling, inspired by designer Anna Molinari's favorite color and based on the sea. Murano glass chandeliers sparkle, tables have peppermint stick-like swirled legs and there is a mirrored cash wrap. Contrasting with the twinkling elements are soft beige tufted leather walls and benches and sweeping sheer curtains in the dressing rooms.
Demonstrating a central display case with a lid that flips up to reveal a fountain or folds down to hold a floral arrangement and products, Filippo Alzetta said he favors the design tricks and technology in the store. Two large vertical video panels play DVDs of runway shows.
He estimated that more than 50 percent of the spring 2008 collection, or roughly 650 items including those from the Blugirl diffusion line, are featured in the store. Coincidentally, the season corresponds with Miami's penchant for bright colors — orange, lime green and canary yellow — animal prints and sexy, beach staples such as short shorts, caftans and halters that plunge to the navel.
"After the spring fashion show last fall, I told Anna it seemed like she designed this collection with Miami in mind," Adriana Alzetta said.A sleeveless minidress in an Art Deco and floral pattern of white or champagne sequins for $3,500, which was showcased in the window, sold out. Other bestsellers include a beaded chiffon tunic in blue and white, lace and a floral print for $890, and black capris embellished with gold grommets threaded with silky rope or a Swarovski crystal hem detail and logo, for $764 and $775, respectively. The company is stepping up its accessories division, too, Adriana Alzetta said.
A sprinkling of handbags, shoes and belts is in the store, with more to come for fall 2008. So far, a black metal watch with a star and fire crystal face for $400 and a Baroque-meets-Western cuff with chunky turquoise stones for $381 are selling well.
Blugirl, which ranges from sexy to sweet, is selling nicely, too. A pink-and-white sheath dress with fringe for $869 and matching cropped jacket, $1,147, are popular.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)