The directional brands that have flocked to ENK Vegas, now in its second season here, espoused pragmatic thinking in a challenging economy, but value took on a different form for design-oriented exhibitors.
“It’s not about being inexpensive but about having the right product,” said Todd Bernstein, vice president of sales for Theory. “For us, it’s about product that warrants the price.”
Bernstein, like many of the 84 vendors exhibiting in the Wynn Hotel’s Lafite Ballroom, cited clean, wearable pieces, innovative textiles and price adjustment as important currents in the market. Some prices in Theory’s fall collection, which offered fetching cropped outerwear, optically textured knits and updated men’s wear patterns, were slashed by 15 percent. But he still expected items, like the shawl collar sweater and waist-nipping toggle coat, to drive business.
In denim, Sean Hornbeak showed off clean, vintage-inspired jeans for J Brand Denim Co., which launched last year with the goal of bringing accessible denim to the men’s premium market.
“It’s about iconic and classic looks this year,” Hornbeak said. Not to mention cheaper: J Brand introduced men’s models retailing for $185. “Our retailers have been looking for denim under $200,” he added.
As skinny jeans have become a staple of women’s wardrobes, denim purveyors made sure to include new versions. For instance, Hudson Jeans shortened the inseam of a $154 skinny style to 30 inches so that women could cuff them more easily.
Other jeans makers upped the ante by offering women’s jeans that fit like leggings. Genetic Denim squeezed gams in black stretch jacquard, fake snakeprint and other novel fabrics for a new grouping retailing from $210 to $341. Post’age Denim, which added women’s jeans and tops to its season-old men’s line for fall, offered $150 legging jeans that pop in purple.
Boyfriend jeans and boot cuts received equal attention. There were Stronghold’s $265 cropped tomboy jeans in sky blue along with Mr. Winter’s $195 boyfriend trousers in washed linen. Lucky Brand Jeans drew attention to the derriere by planting studs and an embroidered peace sign on the back yokes of $179 boot-cut jeans.
Cleanliness was the guiding light at 7 Diamonds, a moderate-price maker of men’s embroidered wovens. This season, the collection erred on the side of modesty, opting for subtle details in pocketing and hardware as opposed to baroque stitching.
Retailers also sought tried-and-true classics from known brands. “We’re not testing new lines,” said Adam Beltzman, proprietor of Haberdash in Chicago, a stockist for Rag & Bone, Trovata and Nicholas K. “We need to be focused.”
If retailers stuck to their guns, they may have overlooked some notable launches, like Kai-aakmann, a line of cheap and chic sportswear from South Korea’s Avista Inc. The range of sophisticated sportswear in a muted palette received early interest from Steven Alan and Oak, the brand’s representatives said. Among the key pieces: hooded trenches, striped cardigans, double-breasted blazers and long parkas — all at recession-friendly prices, ranging from $30 for knits to $160 for women’s tuxedo blazers to $300 for rabbit fur-trimmed parkas.
In women’s sportswear, motor sports provided inspiration for many designers. Several updated the motorcycle jacket in unlikely fabrics, including languid black velvet at Corpus and faded gray-brown leather at Iro. Alpinestars by Denise Focil offered an alternative to pricy leather with a $175 nylon version accentuated with vibrant stripes.
Designers were also fond of plaid. Fred Perry enhanced a $450 black cashmere-wool coat with a quirky blend of red plaid and patent leather.
Plaid appealed to Jackie Brander, co-owner of the boutique Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica, Calif., who snapped up the $110 oversize plaid button-up shirts from Post’age.
Easy dressing resonated with other retailers as well. Black Halo cropped the legs of a strapless gabardine jumper that was a hit in its holiday collection for a $325 summer update grazing the thigh. At Eight Sixty, casual-chic was epitomized by minidresses comprising a jersey tank attached to a full skirt fashioned from an African-influenced silk print, lime green brocade and other sophisticated fabrics.
With retail prices ranging from $66 to $88, Monika Crossin, owner of the boutique Nika in Park Ridge, Ill., predicted that Eight Sixty’s dresses would be easy to sell. “People are looking for pieces that can pull them from season to season,” she said.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)