Frilly knickers and luxe lingerie aside, underwear is by most people’s standards a bare necessity. but judging from all the novelty items out there, it seems the banality of such basics begs to be spun into something more. Like t-shirts, intimates — underpants in particular — is a genre prime for all manner of angles, ranging from kitsch to convenience.
Consider the age-old days-of-the-week undie campaign, recently coopted by Stella McCartney to adorable effect. Whether girls ever coordinated their drawers to their designated day, the weekday motif has become a classic. It’s a conceit that’s inspired an endless supply of specialty thongs and panties for every marketable occasion — weddings, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s day, even current events: a simple google search turned up at least three sites peddling Obama undies.
Silly though it seems, people buy into such novelty acts. Take, for example, t-box, a line of cotton pieces, thongs and boyshorts among them, which are compressed and packaged to look like candy, butterflies and ice cream cones. “The idea is it’s an impulse buy,” says Zeynep Ergin-Vitale, vice president of T-Box Usa. “The brand is for fast-consumption retail. It’s by the cash register — the customer likes the packaging, they pick it up. It’s an eye-directly-to-the-brain type of thing.”
Not to mention gimmicky, for which T-Box isn’t apologizing. The line, owned by Turkish retail giant the Boyner Group, launched in the U.S. in November, and intimates accounts for approximately a third of Boyner’s $1 billion in worldwide sales.
As owner of Urban Aid, purveyor of cheeky travel kits (the Shame on You kit includes a pair of panties, a toothbrush and a “leave behind” note, among other personal products, for the girl on the go), Karen Barnett also cashes in on quirky concepts. “We use humor in the copy and the packaging to explain ourselves and to pull you in,” says Barnett, who worked in product development and packaging for Disney and Mattel before launching Urban Aid in 2005. “Everything is supposed to be funny.”
“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