NEW YORK — Japanese brand Moussy has been using novel ways to attract attention, from Fashion’s Night Out — when a model brigade dressed in the brand’s signature rock ’n’ roll-inspired looks — to its 3,200-square-foot “experiential store,” which bowed Friday at 72 Gansevoort Street here.
Moussy is trying to connect with influencers in Manhattan, said Mizuho Oka, a self-described Moussy girl, who is spearheading the brand’s expansion in the U.S. Dressed in denim shorts, a leopard-print cardigan worn as a top and purple platform booties, Oka explained that Moussy grew out of and led a movement in Japan called The Real Clothes Movement. It represents a shift away from European luxury brands to more affordable domestic labels. Moussy, Cecil McBee and Apuweiser-Riche have been at the forefront of Real Clothes. “We saw a niche in the market that everybody wanted, but didn’t exist,” Oka said.
The store targets women ages 18 to 25. Denim is a core product for Moussy in skinny fits, Oka said. Selvage jeans, which are made in Japan, are priced at $200; jeans made in China are $130 to $150. Military jackets are also standard fare, such as the N3B anorak, which is updated each year. A braided rabbit vest with a raccoon fur collar, $330, is new for fall. There’s also a goat skin motorcycle jacket, $430, and one in imitation leather for $140. Other offerings include distressed T-shirts with retro screen prints, chunky silver jewelry and shoes, about 30 styles each season. The store closely resembles those in Japan, except for the special scent that wafts through each unit in its home country. Oka said the company has yet to bring the scent-diffusing machines to New York.
Moussy operates 45 stores in Japan, six units in China, three in Hong Kong and five in Taiwan.
The brand hopes to gain a following here by hosting “Moussy Thursdays” at the store, parties that feature live entertainment. On Thursday, punk dance duo Matt and Kim performed for a crowd of more than 350, Oka said.
The store was created for maximum flexibility with all fixtures connected to the ceiling by rope pulleys. When the store switches over to Moussy Thursday mode, the fixtures are hoisted to the ceiling and a stage is planted on the floor.
“Launching in New York has always been our dream,” said Hiroyuki Murai, chairman and chief executive officer of Baroque, Moussy’s parent. “Our international expansion has been focusing on Asia so far, but with 10 years of experience as a popular, respected and highly recognized brand in Asia, we believe we are ready for New York. We think Fifth Avenue is [like] the Ginza in Japan, and the Meatpacking District is [like] Shibuya, where we started our brand, which is the cultural [place] for the young fashionable people and that’s why we wanted to start there.”
“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