PARIS— Elie Saab will open its first store in Asia next January in Hong Kong’s Landmark Mall, as part of a plan to double its network of freestanding stores by the end of 2012.
Elie Saab managing director Chucri Cavalcanti said the choice of location was strategic, as the brand hopes to open stores in Beijing and Shanghai by early 2013 at the latest.
“We’re starting to see a lot of Asian customers in our existing boutiques, whether in Paris or in London or even in Dubai, and we feel that the brand has had enough exposure for the consumer to start recognizing it,” Cavalcanti told WWD.
“We think that Hong Kong could be our starting base in Asia from which we can get into mainland China and into other countries in Asia, like Korea, like Taiwan, like Singapore, in a much easier way once the brand is well established in Hong Kong, which is a very cosmopolitan, international market,” he added.
The Hong Kong store will be the brand’s fifth freestanding boutique after Beirut, Paris, Dubai and a shop-in-shop in London department store Harrods.
Cavalcanti said he hopes to increase this number to between eight and 10 by the end of next year, with new additions planned in the United States, Latin America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
In addition, the executive hopes to increase Elie Saab’s points of sale in department stores and multi-brand boutiques by 10 from around 45 at present.
“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