Massif, a men’s wear collection that combined technical fabrics and features with a contemporary fashion attitude, will be shuttered this week.
Scott Branscum, a veteran of Eddie Bauer, Cutter & Buck and Perry Ellis, who was brought on board to get the line off the ground, said Massif’s parent company pulled the plug so it could focus on its core business, which is outfitting the elite U.S. forces of the CIA, SWAT teams, Coast Guard rescue swimmers, special ops and backcountry firefighters with flame-retardant apparel.
“It was a late decision,” he said, citing the “shrinking military” expenditures and the company’s increasing reluctance to continue to fund a start-up.
Branscum said he will personally phone the retailers who had committed to carry the collection for fall, including Bloomingdale’s, which launched the collection last September, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue, Amazon and Lord & Taylor, the latter of which was going to install a shop for the label at its New York flagship. The line was also going to be carried in The Bay and specialty stores including Fred Segal and Mitchells, Branscum said.
He said his team — which includes Chris Donohue, formerly of Woolwich, Zegna Sport and John Varvatos, as vice president of sales — as well as a production and sourcing person and a marketing executive, will stay together in hopes of “telling the story” somewhere else. “I think we were really onto something,” he said of the “high-tech” collection, which boasted moisture management and antimicrobial properties as well as stretch and 3-D ergonomic shaping.
The Ashland, Ore.-based Massif was founded in 1999 by two entrepreneurs whose adventures included rock climbing and rescue missions. The company was acquired by Tactical Holdings and its private equity partner, Golden Gate Capital, in 2009. It has annual sales of about $100 million.
“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