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NEW YORK — A crowd this evening gathered in front of Macy’s Herald Square’s Broadway windows that were filled with looks by Giambattista Valli. Some people were waiting for a glimpse of the man himself, while others simply looked puzzled. “What is his name? Do you know his name?” a woman asked of no one in particular. Seeing Valli’s logo on the window, she said, “Ah, Italiano.”
Valli walked down the runway with models Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, Chanel Iman and Jessica Stam on his arms, followed by Macy’s Inc. chairman and chief executive Terry Lundgren, Nicole Fischelis, Macy’s Inc. group vice president and fashion director, and two Valli girls dressed in animal prints. Inside, at the second floor Impulse department, hundreds of customers were checking out the Giambattista Valli for Impulse Only at Macy’s collection. “We’re very, very proud of the success we’ve had with this unique program,” said Lundgren, referring to the guest designer series that began with Kinder Aggugini in February, followed by Matthew Williamson, Karl Lagerfeld, and now, Valli.
Valli said he decided to launch a lower-priced line after his first couture collection for fall 2012 bowed in July because “I thought it was the right moment. It’s like these are collector’s pieces. It’s almost like they’re a passport to get into my world.”
Valli thought the Macy’s collection, geared for holiday with strapless and embellished confections, was fitting since “I started with party dresses for young, fresh girls,” he said. “Everyone else was doing ball gowns. These are fun pieces.”
Valli has no desire to design a diffusion collection. “I believe in special projects,” he said. “They always bring you new ideas and with projects you have to follow your DNA to the end.”
Doo.Ri Chung’s collection for Impulse Only at Macy’s will bow on Feb. 15. Martine Reardon, executive vice president for national marketing for Macy’s, said an ad campaign was shot in an industrial space in Brooklyn. “It’s very much her aesthetic,” she said.