LONDON — For a while last year, Allegra Hicks was looking like just another victim of the credit crunch, having had to pull out of London Fashion Week, shutter her ready-to-wear business, and close her stores in Manhattan and London.
But she’s come back with a bang: After finding new, private backers for her eponymous business, she’s opened a store on Elizabeth Street here, has a book in the works for September, and has signed Kim Vernon of Vernon Company to develop new projects.
Hicks said the financial drama of 2008 and 2009 was just what she needed to regroup. “Sometimes you lose track of what you’re actually good at,” she said during a walk-through of the 700-square-foot store, a tiny space compared with her former unit on Pont Street. “These sorts of times help you focus and maximize your creativity.”
The new store, which spans two floors, has cotton linen walls with the designer’s signature teardrop design picked out in beads, and dark parquet floors. The store stocks the rtw collection, which Hicks designs in collaboration with Abdul Koroma and Andrew Jones, the duo behind the London label Modernist, and her home textiles collection. The rtw line also sells on the firm’s Web site and at stores including Harvey Nichols, Calypso in Manhattan, Jake in Chicago and Sebastian’s in Dallas.
Last year, Hicks formed a new company, AH Lifestyle Ltd., with backing from a private investor. Linda Peters, a former executive at sephora.com and the co-founder and director of London’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise, which supports emerging fashion talent, is the new chief executive officer.
Separately, Hicks is working with Vernon to explore projects and collaborations with other brands in both apparel and home design.
“Allegra’s 15 years of designing fashion, prints, textiles and home objects has created a tremendous and valuable archive,” said Vernon. “She is underexposed. We plan to change that and bring her pretty, modern aesthetic to a broader range of customer. There are many brands that can benefit from that work as well as her talent as lifestyle designer.”
Vernon added the two are in talks with a variety of companies, and the first projects would likely be unveiled within six months.
Meanwhile, Hicks is also at work on “An Eye for Design,” which will be published by Abrams in September. The designer said she sees the 230-page book as a “visual diary” that traces her inspirations and explores the importance of the five senses on her creative process. Patrick Kinmonth, the British opera and stage designer who worked on Valentino’s 45th anniversary retrospective exhibition in 2007, has written the forward. Antonio Monfreda, who worked with Kinmonth on the Valentino show and on the “Anglomania” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is the book’s creative director.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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