MILAN — Giambattista Valli has launched a namesake fur line filled with czarina appeal to complement his sophisticated clothing collections.
For this project, the designer signed a five-year licensing deal with Ciwifurs, Marni's parent, to produce and distribute the fur line. Valli introduced 50 looks for pre-fall, treating fur like fabric in terms of construction, shapes, weights and sartorial detail. "The market is very receptive and open to fur these days, especially when it's treated in a new and modern way," said Valli, who garnered a significant fur experience during his five-year stay at Fendi. "And Ciwifurs is the best when it comes to high-end furs because it has great artisans and pattern-cutters and they're open to experimenting."
Ciwifurs is probably the only company left in Italy with the know-how and the artisans to satisfy the whims of top designers, as is evidenced by the labels it manufactures — Fendi, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin and Prada among them. Ciwifurs posted sales of $41 million in 2007.
"Our goal is to turn into reality a designer's desires by using any fur he or she requests," said Gianni Castiglioni, chief executive officer of Ciwifurs. Castiglioni expects Valli's fur line to do $2.9 million in wholesale volume in the first year, a figure he aims to double by 2011. The line will be carried at the designer's existing points of sale with special attention to the U.S. and Russia, where fur is popular. From a design stance, Valli worked with a plethora of skins, namely broadtail, chinchilla, Persian lamb, mink, fox, sable, kidskin, shearling and bobcat. For surface interest, he often mixed and matched the furs, juxtaposing sheared versions with longer-haired ones. At times, he created a mosaic effect by inserting wool, razmir or crocodile into the fur and at others used tulle-veiled chains as understated decorative elements.
Valli also worked a variety of shapes — boleros with ruffled cap sleeves; long styles with leg-of-mutton sleeves; fit-and-flare versions with exaggerated ruffled collars, and A-line numbers with silk plissé panels. Retail prices range from $5,900 for a kidskin coat to $73,000 for sable.
The fur line caps an ebullient period for Valli, whose sales have grown 290 percent over the last three years, also fueled by last year's introduction of pre-collections. An annual sales figure was unavailable.Valli's label is carried in 207 sale points worldwide, including Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S.
“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