Is there opportunity in the current economic disaster? Saks Fifth Avenue executives are counting on it, at least when it comes to the contemporary arena. Last month, the retailer unveiled a fresh approach to the category, including a redesign of a 3,600-square-foot section of its contemporary department, featuring 15 of Saks’ newest labels.
“We want to, as Saks should, highlight new talent,” said Joseph Boitano, senior vice president, general merchandising manager. “In order to highlight it, we’re presenting it in a new environment.”
Selecting the featured collections couldn’t have been easy, considering the store’s current philosophy — stated in January by Ron Frasch, Saks’ president and chief merchandising officer — of making “the hard decisions on a brand-by-brand basis. Those brands that are nice to have can’t exist in the new environment.”
“These designers have the potential to become its future core vendors, moving out of this space allowing us to highlight new emerging designers,” he said. “We chose them not because of a common aesthetic, but rather that each have their own distinctive voice. Whether it be the quirky femininity of Rachel Comey or the urbanity of Helmut Lang, in the new space each brand is able to present a clear and strong message, which then allows our customers to be their own editors, interpreting the trends for [their] lifestyle.”
Among the resources around which Saks will develop its contemporary identity, Rag & Bone, Elizabeth and James and Helmut Lang were new to the store last fall. Vena Cava, Gryphon and Hanii Y debut for spring. While the 15 are also available at three other Saks locations, with five more slated to follow for fall ’09, the environmental concept is unique to the Fifth Avenue flagship.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews