Karl Lagerfeld’s move to masstige will inch a step closer to fruition next fall when the designer launches a capsule collection for Macy’s.
Lagerfeld will create a one-off line of limited edition women’s fashion that will be sold in about 250 Macy’s stores as well as online in September. The collection will be part of a new designer initiative that Macy’s will launch next year in which designers create capsule collections for the store’s Impulse department. The collections will rotate every two months and will start in February with Kinder Aggugini, a London-based designer who has worked with John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Calvin Klein, Costume National and Versace. Aggugini will produce a line with a rocker-chic aesthetic.
“Karl Lagerfeld holds a unique place in the world of fashion, an icon who is the ultimate modernist,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc. “Through the decades, his style and vision have marked the history of design. It is a tremendous honor to bring his inimitable perspective to our fashion customer.”
According to the retailer, the designer capsule collection series signals Macy’s investment in its Impulse business “by infusing frequent newness, excitement and aspirational fashion to the assortment.”
In September, Lagerfeld revealed that he would not show his signature collection during Paris Fashion Week and was putting his energy behind a new masstige ready-to-wear range to be sold primarily online. He had been slated to show his designer line in early October.
Although the Macy’s collection would not constitute masstige, sources said, it does indicate the designer’s determination to branch out into the lower-priced arena.
Lagerfeld could not be reached for comment Tuesday but is also believed to be moving ahead with plans to create a new line based on the idea of “mass elitism.” That line, which would be primarily for women but would include a few men’s wear items as well, will consist of an entire range of product. It is expected to be introduced for the fall 2011 season.
The move to masstige has the blessing of Apax Partners, the New York-based owner of Karl Lagerfeld SAS. When Lagerfeld’s plans were first revealed, Christian Stahl, a partner in Apax, said: “We think there is great potential with this positioning, so we are very supportive and very excited. He is such a global personality; this is going to be a global approach.”
The masstige collection would be owned and operated by Apax. Stahl declined to comment on the Macy’s initiative on Tuesday.
At the time the plans for the designer capsule collection were announced, Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, said that the “opportunity to bring established and renowned fashion designers” to the store “affirms that Macy’s is a unique destination for fashion, bringing sophisticated design and aspirational fashion to a customer that desires and demands constant newness in her wardrobe.” Gennette could not be reached for further comment on Tuesday.
Macy’s has embarked on a successful campaign of high-profile exclusive collaborations including Madonna’s Material Girl as well as Rachel Rachel Roy, Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole Reaction.
The masstige move has proved to be a winning formula for retailers — and designers. The most recent, Lanvin (Hearts) H&M, hit the Swedish retailer’s stores this past weekend and created a shopping frenzy. H&M has been a leader of this masstige trend, along with Target.
Lagerfeld first got a taste for the masstige market when he teamed up with H&M in 2004. In a recent interview about bringing his creative energy to a lower-priced market, he said: “It’s funny for a person who has money to buy something inexpensive, and it’s great for a person with not so much money to be able to get something by a designer. It’s the new snobbism.”
The disclosure of an impending collaboration went viral on Tuesday after a story was posted on the Web site Unbeige.
“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