The men’s business has been a bright spot for Salvatore Ferragamo’s U.S. division, which just unveiled a new men’s space at its Fifth Avenue flagship and is mulling opening more men’s stores.
Men’s represents 44 percent of Ferragamo’s American business.
“We’re known for leather shoes and handbags,” said Vincent Ottomanelli, president of Ferragamo USA. “On the men’s side, we don’t have a big category like handbags, so 44 percent is really strong.”
The men’s category has grown 20 percent in the past five years and even this year, its growth rate is 5 percent.
“That’s very good for 2009,” noted Ottomanelli. “In this difficult period, I like to think we’re making necessary adjustments to perform, but sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Our men’s business is doing well, so we’re investing in it.”
The renovated space at the Manhattan flagship used to be a gallery dedicated to art exhibitions and special events.
The 900-square-foot, second-floor area now showcases men’s wear designed by Massimiliano Giornetti — primarily suits and tailored outerwear, plus neckwear and leather goods. The interior incorporates the same materials as the rest of the store — Turkish walnut paneling, taupe leather and white limestone — in proportions that create a warm, woodsy effect. Leather furniture and secluded fitting rooms are designed to invite men to take their time.
Just outside the room, there is an area dedicated to Tramezza, which is Ferragamo’s most high-end, handmade shoe line, as well as expanded displays for men’s luggage, belts and small leather goods.
“The experience we provide needs to be the best, and that’s not easy to do in a single store because men shop differently from women,” said Ottomanelli. That is why, he said, Ferragamo is keeping a close eye on its only dedicated men’s store in the U.S., at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, and gearing up to roll out more single-gender stores next year.
“Single-gender is more intimate, and more comfortable for men or women. We’re seeing that in the Beverly Center; it’s really winning for us. That store is meeting its plan, which is saying a lot in this environment,” he said.
In addition, Ferragamo in December renovated its store at Bal Harbour Shops, and in January revamped Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center. The company opened a unit at the Waterside Shops in Naples, Fla., in February, and has a new shop in the pipeline at The Bravern in Bellevue, Wash.
“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