Sonia and Willy Bogner are captivated by the American spirit and are at home in Manhattan, so opening a Bogner store in SoHo made sense.
The husband-and-wife team, who once had a Manhattan apartment, arrived from company headquarters in Munich for the opening-night party Tuesday, which was enlivened by a multimedia display of five 60-inch rotating plasma screens. The presentation in the 2,400-square-foot store at 380 Broadway highlighted the company’s 75-year-plus history, with action-oriented video footage shot by Willy Bogner, an accomplished photographer and filmmaker.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s Harold Koda, Damon Dash, Princess Ismene Chigi and Olympic skiing gold medalist Stein Eriksen were among those taking it all in. Across the room, mannequins encased in clear cylinders that looked like something out of “Star Trek” displayed show pieces such as a so-called Crystal Communication Suit that was covered with almost 22,000 Swarovski crystals.
Playing up the brand’s ski heritage, the store has a fireplace with a sitting area and bookshelves. Willy Bogner’s Olympic diploma from competing in the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics is propped on a shelf. The two were clearly energized to be in New York.
“We lived in Vermont, we lived in New York, we had a ranch [near Telluride, Colo.] and we used to have a house in Saint Croix,” Willy Bogner said. “We really like the American spirit. It has influenced our way of thinking and our creativity in business for a long time. No matter in the short term if America is having troubles or people are criticizing it.”
They are so enthralled with Americana that Willy Bogner’s only footwear is cowboy boots, and Sonia Bogner has a weakness for American jeans — she owns hundreds of pairs. Now they are eager to share their branded styles with New York shoppers. The Sonia Bogner, Bogner Woman, Bogner Fire + Ice, Bogner Sport and Bogner Kids lines, as well as the brand’s accessories collections, are showcased in the new space.
“Most people know us here for our skiwear, but in Europe, we are known more as a fashion brand,” Willy Bogner said. “The combination of fashion and sport is always strong….We speak both languages.”
After operating two Madison Avenue stores at different times in the Nineties, the lively downtown scene is a better fit for the $220 million brand, and required a three-year search for space, he said.
“It’s kind of fun down here,” Bogner said. “It has a more creative atmosphere and a better mix of people. It has more life, art and creativity.”
The New York location is the 12th company-owned store, and is next to Cipriani, a popular destination with Europeans. Bogner has 37 franchised stores worldwide.
Despite the global financial crisis, Willy Bogner, chairman and managing director, said he is “optimistic” and is planning for a 12 percent increase in sales this year. In recent years, annual growth has been 15 to 20 percent, he said.
“Everyone is concerned; we have to be,” Bogner said. “But we are less concerned than other people. We have a very strong, safe brand. In difficult times, people tend to go to the brands they trust….After this storm settles, we may come out stronger.”
To accomplish that, Bogner is lining up new licenses for footwear, fragrance and sport-related beauty products, and setting up a sourcing and distribution center in Hong Kong. The couple is considering launching its 160-page Bogner magalogue, in which they handle all creative aspects, including modeling, in the U.S. In Europe, where annual distribution is 2 million, the publication has been a force in getting shoppers to stores. Willy Bogner said the payoff is comparable to $15 million to $20 million worth of advertising.
“I always say, ‘We’re in the communications business,” he said. “It’s one thing to make a nice jacket, but it’s another thing to communicate the feel of it.”
“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)