NEW YORK — Bald, androgynous mannequins wearing only fur coats and Dolce & Gabbana neon tights in the windows of Housing Works’ Upper West Side store show just how far fur has come.
In winters past, the four-store nonprofit operation, which sells donated secondhand clothes and other items to help homeless New Yorkers living with HIV or AIDS, rang up its share of fur coat sales, but last month’s tally was unprecedented.
In December, Housing Works sold about 100 coats, including a brand new sable number that was auctioned off in the window of the East 77th Street store for $10,000. But most of the fur coats retail between $100 and $1,000. Shoppers also have plenty of shrugs, hats, muffs and stoles to sift through in the four stores.
Considering the flurry of fur in stores and in fashion spreads, Shana Maron-Ames, Housing Works’ director of stores, surmised that last year’s castaways are being replaced with more updated pieces. “We’ve definitely seen a dramatic increase in our fur sales and fur donations,” she said.
Christopher Trujillo, visual director of the Housing Works store at 306 Columbus Avenue, credits musicians for revving up consumers’ interest in fur. “The R&B crowd especially doesn’t seem fearful about wearing fur. They wear it all and to all types of places — even the men.”
Given that, Trujillo sees muffs making a bit of a comeback. “They are more affordable. They offer a punch of excitement in an outfit and they are easier to check at nightclubs. Many people who wear furs out at night to clubs are afraid to check them or to set them down.”
As for the four fur coats positioned in Trujillo’s striking window display, they are being auctioned for upward of $345; bids close in stores and at Housingworksauctions.com on Jan. 10. One hunchbacked mannequin’s hand is extended with a palmful of change — “a little spin” Trujillo threw in to remind passersby that Housing Works’ purchases go to charity.
“I know. I was a client,” said Trujillo, who has been HIV positive for 14 years.After giving up his job as a set and props specialist at 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles and relocating here, he struggled financially and leaned on Housing Works for its medical and counseling resources.
“After I got myself on my feet again, I started volunteering at Housing Works, then got a job here and never left,” Trujillo said.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)