“Look at our flag. I hope Ralph can see it from his store down there,” said Rag & Bone designer David Neville Wednesday morning, standing outside his new Madison Avenue boutique at 73rd Street, just a block away from the gold standard of uptown retail, Ralph Lauren’s Rhinelander Mansion.
When Rag & Bone’s uptown flagship — the label’s sixth store in Manhattan, and ninth overall — officially opens Saturday, it will be a proud moment for Neville and his design partner Marcus Wainwright. “Madison Avenue is something you hear about when you don’t even know New York,” said Neville.
The building itself, 909 Madison, is impressive real estate. At 9,000 square feet, the four-story red brick Federal-style town house is three times the size of any of Rag & Bone’s other stores, which include New York outposts in the West Village, SoHo, NoLIta and the Upper West Side, as well as locales in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, with a London store slated to open this summer. Neville had his eye on the Madison spot, which was previously home to a Chase bank until about 18 months ago. When it initially came on the market, a big brand immediately swooped in, but that deal fell through and Neville and Wainwright seized the opportunity. For the most part, they gutted the place, minus a cement-reinforced teller’s desk on the first floor that now serves as the cash wrap, and the walk-in iron vault on the lower level, which will be used for purely decorative effect among the women’s fitting rooms. “We don’t want anyone getting locked in there,” said Neville.
Renovations for such a vast space are being completed in phases, beginning with the ground floor and the lower level, which will be devoted to women’s, accessories and dressing rooms. “The challenge for the moment is getting open, because we’re paying,” said Neville. The second floor currently houses the stockroom, but will become a dedicated men’s department this summer. Until then, a small selection of men’s merchandise will be displayed on the ground floor.
Crown moldings, hardwood floors, brass fixtures and black lacquer paint are key to the Rag & Bone aesthetic, and here it will be accented by velvet furnishings and curtains. The interiors are designed in-house with Neville and Wainwright at the helm. Still to come is an old-fashioned elevator that will be operated by a bellman.
Founded in 2002, Rag & Bone launched men’s in spring 2004, with a full women’s collection by fall 2005 and accessories in 2007. Andrew Rosen took a stake in the contemporary label in 2006 and fostered a retail growth strategy. “We’ve dreamed about [Madison],” said Neville. “Actually being able to make the economics of it happen is something we’ve been trying to build our company toward. We’re lucky enough to make this step now.”
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)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion