“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.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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