Tahari opened a 700-square-foot shop-in-shop last month at the Shinsegae department store in Seoul, which will be followed this month with a 500-square-foot shop at the city’s Galleria West department store.
Over the next five years, Tahari plans to open 16 shop-in-shops in luxury department stores and four freestanding stores across South Korea, including a flagship that is to open in Seoul’s Chungdam neighborhood next spring.
The South Korean expansion is the result of a retail and distribution agreement that Tahari made with SK Networks in April. SK Networks, which also introduced brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and DKNY to the region, has the exclusive rights to sell the label and operate shops in South Korea until 2012.
In the U.S., Tahari is distributed in 600 doors, including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Tahari said much of the incremental growth stems from overseas markets.
“We are performing very well internationally,” said Tahari, who is the company’s chairman. “We are present in over 40 countries, and those are the stores that are calling for more product, more reorders, and the sell-throughs are incredible. Our overseas business will triple in the next year.”
The South Korean shops will take their decor cues from interior designer Piero Lissoni’s blueprint for the brand, with elements such as Italian marble floors, Venetian plaster walls, handmade crystal chandeliers and club chairs.
To launch brand awareness in South Korea, SK Networks and Tahari recently held a fashion show and party in Seoul. Tahari also launched advertising campaigns in South Korean editions of publications such as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and In Style.
South Korea is the latest expansion for the brand. In January, the designer kicked his international growth into high gear with an exclusive distribution deal and retail licensing partnership with Istanbul-based Unitim Holding for Turkey and Romania, which includes plans for five Elie Tahari-branded stores in the two regions over the next five years. Earlier this year, Tahari also opened a 1,600-square-foot shop-in-shop at London department store Selfridges, and a 650-square-foot shop at the city’s Harvey Nichols store. There are plans to open more units at Harvey Nichols in Dubai and Tsum in Moscow.
To help global expansion, the designer has launched sales showrooms in Milan, London and Seoul. Tahari just finished the Milan market, and said that he did the entire projected business for the week in the first day. “The next challenge, and the next excitement, will come from China,” Tahari said. “That’s where we are looking to expand now.”
“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