Sass & Bide recently opened its first international store, a 2,000-square-foot flagship at 480 Broome Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” said Heidi Middleton, creative director, speaking by telephone from Down Under. The company in September launched an international e-commerce site and identified a strong customer based in downtown Manhattan. The 70 million Australian dollar, or $63.9 million at current exchange, company offers a full range of women’s ready-to-wear and denim, as well as handbags, jewelry, footwear and innerwear.
“We have 21 stores in Australia and New Zealand and concessions at Myer department stores,” she said. “It made sense to test the retail in our homeland. But there’s no point in expanding beyond the stores we have in Australia.”
Middleton said the New York store is the first location in a planned expansion strategy. “We’re looking in a few markets,” she said. “It was instinctual to open the first store in New York. We also looked in L.A. We love the [SoHo] area and felt it had a great energy. Broome Street felt like a new pocket of SoHo that was starting to evolve. We love our neighbors there and the street seems to be growing a strong like-minded presence.”
Middleton and cofounder Sarah-Jane Clark worked with Australian architecture and interior design firm Akin Creative and the design collective Guild is Good to transform the space. “I’m surrounded by a lot of nature in Sydney,” Middleton said. “I’m always sourcing inspiration from nature around me. The concept of the store is strength, beauty modernity and spirit. I wanted to have a beautiful blank clean canvas that could house different collections, moods and feelings.” A white sculpture provides interest and texture to the store. “I kept finding beautiful knotted driftwood,” Middleton said. “The idea was to superscale it and marry that collision of the natural and man-made worlds. We want to retain the designer feel of the brand and retail uniqueness.”
It might become harder to do that. Myer, which is Australia’s biggest department store, bought a 65 percent stake in Sass & Bide in 2011 for $42.3 million. Since then, Sass & Bide has delivered a consistently strong performance for its investors, growing sales by 45 percent and profit by 112 percent. In October, Myer purchased the remaining 35 percent of the company for around $30 million.
Myer has promised to retain Sass & Bide’s management and design autonomy.
Middleton and Clarke earlier this month stepped down from the board of the company they founded.
Clarke, a former accountant, and Middleton, formerly an advertising art director, met in Brisbane, Australia, in the early Nineties and launched their clothing business in a stall at the Portobello Market in London.
“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
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye