NEW YORK — The Saks Fifth Avenue flagship here is being pumped up with a Christian Louboutin shop-in-shop, as part of a tweaking of the 10022-Shoe floor.
Other changes include the addition of accessories from Louboutin, Alexander McQueen and possibly other designers in the future, and the restaurant on the same floor will be renovated this year but stay open.
“When you have a big floor like we have, providing some brand direction for customers is important so it’s not just a sea of racks,” said Ron Frasch, Saks’ president and chief merchandising officer. “You need some interesting elements that break it up and frame the floor.”
The 1,600-square-foot Louboutin in-store shop, opening Wednesday, is the designer’s first in the U.S. and its biggest in-store shop worldwide. “We got a great spot at Saks,” said Alexis Mourot, chief operating officer of Louboutin. “It’s actually two spaces linked together — the atrium space plus a second three-wall space. It’s very comparable to one of our larger stores.”
The walled area will display Louboutin accessories, and there will be a space for special products and collaborative projects. In the past, Louboutin has collaborated with the Parisian cabaret Crazy Horse, Barbie and Walt Disney Studios. Louboutin worked with the New York-based architectural and product design company 212box to create the Saks space with Louboutin’s distinct arched niche walls, signature red carpet, hand-carved Burma teak wood tiles and a storefront window that will change seasonally.
“Saks New York is one of the top-selling doors for us in the world,” Mourot said, with best-selling styles including the Pigalle 120, Bianca 140, Lady Peep 150, Very Prive 120, Daffodile 160, Highness 160 and Corneille 100. Louboutin also has shops inside Lane Crawford, Isetan, Matsuya, Selfridges, Harrods and Saks in the Middle East. The brand has 53 freestanding stores and 14 shops-in-shop.
“Everybody is building bigger and bigger shoe floors,” Frasch observed. “We led the way about five-and-half years ago,” when 10022-Shoe was introduced. The presentation was expanded to the tower side of the flagship this past year. The department houses designer and contemporary footwear ranging from casual to evening, and ranks as the store’s most productive area next to the main floor. Aside from Louboutin, Saks has shoe shops for Louis Vuitton and Roger Vivier. McQueen accessories will be added to the floor in July.
“When you create an expanded shoe offer, you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t get so large that it becomes confusing or one-dimensional,” Frasch said. “Footwear is still an extremely strong business and obviously very competitive in this market. We continue to elevate the business.”
“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