NEW YORK -- Saks Fifth Avenue took more than $750,000 in orders for Bill Blass fall goods during a five-day trunk show last week, a record for the chain.
The previous high at Saks was $600,000, set by Giorgio Armani at his spring trunk show at the flagship in February, according to Helen O'Hagan, who retired last month as publicity director for Saks and is now a consultant to the store.
Blass's fall trunk show a year ago at Saks posted $450,000.
For last week's event, also at the flagship, 500 invitations were mailed to many of Blass's best customers. Shoppers were also telephoned by Saks staffers, who encouraged them to attend.
The store did not advertise the show, but Blass made an unannounced two-hour appearance last Tuesday. There was also informal modeling, and customers came in for appointments with Joyce Preston, a Blass representative who assisted with fittings.
Saks officials pointed out that the $750,000 is an especially impressive figure because it represents only women's ready-to-wear sales.
There were several strong sellers among Blass's fall '94 collection, including his double-faced wool coats, at $1,200, 16 of which were sold. Double-faced wool crepe dresses with short jackets sold 18 sets at $2,940, and 19 ensembles of a dress and coat with pink plaid pockets sold at $3,660. Eight windowpane-plaid suits with long jackets sold at $3,210, and seven three-tiered velvet coats sold at $3,360.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"