Saks Fifth Avenue has thrown its muscle behind the trendy Scandinavian label Sand.
The upscale retailer recently installed a shop for the Copenhagen-based men’s brand on the seventh floor of its Fifth Avenue flagship, and results have been “explosive,” according to Tom Ott, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear. “We’ve been working with [the brand] since the fall of 2011, and we love it. So we put in a shop for this season.” He said the line’s use of color, fancy detailing and “great design and silhouettes” has been embraced by the store’s customers and ties in perfectly with Saks’ move to attract a younger man. “We think it’s a great line for a younger-thinking consumer,” Ott added. “It’s our plan to make the product assortment timely and youthful. We’ve found that old guys want to look young and young guys want to look cool.”
Ott said Sand is carried in all Saks doors and he is looking for opportunities to open additional shops outside New York City.
Creative director and chief executive officer Søren Sand, who creates the line with his wife Lene from a villa in Como, Italy, launched men’s wear in 1989; a women’s collection followed in 1991. The line developed a following in Europe and entered the Canadian market five years ago and the U.S. three years ago. The brand operates showrooms in Toronto and New York City and is carried in 65 independent stores in Canada, including Harry Rosen, according to Rian Gardiner, executive vice president of Triluxe, Sand’s North American distributors. It is also stocked in 120 boutiques in the U.S., including Traffic Los Angeles, Rand + Statler in San Francisco, Mitchells in Westport, Conn., M Penner in Houston and Syd Jerome in Chicago. The brand offers three distinct sublabels: the colorful Pink label, the more-tonal Black label and the modern and sometimes over-the-top Red Carpet collection. “The design speaks to the 25- to 40-year-old head-set,” Gardiner said.
“We’re Scandinavian, and it’s all about design in Scandinavia,” Sand said, pointing to the architects and other creative types who hail from that region. “That is our roots, but we also love the values in Italy and the sartorial way they do tailoring. So we bring the two worlds together.”
The price points are also appealing to a younger guy, Ott said. “There’s a real fashion-value relationship,” he said, noting that suits retail from $895 to $1,100 and feature semicanvas construction, pick stitching and fancy detailing.
“For us, this provides a new and exciting point of view and adds to the equation. The modern, updated, cool way of dressing is what’s working at Saks,” Ott concluded.
Last year Sand partnered with Michael and Sara Dovan, founders of Traffic, to open a 2,500-square-foot store in West Hollywood, which has performed well, and Gardiner said the plan going forward is to expand in the U.S. through additional in-store shops, freestanding retail stores and further development of its women’s line, which currently represents 35 percent of the brand’s $200 million in global sales. Volume in the U.S. is $20 million, Gardiner said.
“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