Just before 8 a.m. on Saturday, a black Town Car slid up to the curb across from the H&M flagship at 640 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Alber Elbaz was sitting in the back seat marveling at the line of customers who came for the launch his Lanvin (Hearts) H&M collection. “We stayed in New York one more night so we could see this,” said Elbaz. Surveying the scene, he said, “I don’t dare go in,” explaining that he didn’t want to cause a riot. “I can’t believe it. I was sure there would be no one. I was a bit panicked. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”
The launch of Lanvin (Hearts) H&M brought more than 300 customers to the store. Customers at the front of the line received gift bags consisting of an organic Lanvin (Hearts) H&M tote, a scarf and a lipstick.
Peter Park of Flushing, N.Y., waited 13 hours to get into the store.
The retailer used a system of colored bracelets. Rather than let customers rush into the store all at once, which has been a recipe for chaos at previous introductions, H&M allowed 16 groups of 20 people each, who entered the store in a block with the same bracelet color, to shop for women’s merchandise, which was blocked off, for 15 minutes. The store also limited purchases to two pieces per style. There were no restrictions for men’s wear.
Margareta van den Bosch, the former head of design for H&M and now a creative consultant, and her successor, Ann-Sofie Johansson, who are based in Sweden, were at the store sizing up the launch.
Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America, was replenishing merchandise and assisting customers. “I’m restocking to get feedback,” he said. “We want them to have a good shopping experience. We’re keeping it in control so the rest of the store can work.” He predicted that the collection would “sell out today or tomorrow.’’ Jewelry and shoes went very quickly. I can’t find any.”
“Lanvin is my favorite designer partnership so far,” said Virgil Sparks, a freelance designer. “The only thing that was disappointing is that it’s all taken from what [Alber Elbaz] has done before. It’s not his vision of a lower price point of view.”
“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