BARRY KIESELSTEIN-CORD, PRESIDENT AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LUXURY brand bearing his name, is a true believer in the saying “whatever goes around, comes around.” How could he not, given his start? Kieselstein-Cord became interested in jewelry design after tagging along to a girlfriend’s class at the American Craft Institute. When he planned to take the more advanced session, the teacher told him not to bother. “He said I had no talent,” Kieselstein-Cord says. The entrepreneur definitely got the last laugh, as his growing jewelry and accessories brand, with its signature alligator design, continues to take a bite out of the luxury market. Not to mention that years later, the teacher unknowingly applied for a job at Kieselstein-Cord’s company. Kieselstein-Cord, who now counts two Coty American Fashion Critics Awards and a Council of Fashion Designers of America award among his credits, told him not to bother. Today, Kieselstein-Cord employs some 40 in-house people and operates six freestanding locations in New York and abroad, catering to a largely moneyed crowd. The median price point of his jewelry is $8,500 to $12,000, with some of his favorite pieces depicting a spider with a woman’s face and bodice. “It’s a pretty arresting visual,” he says. While jewelry remains a key facet of his business, his collection of high-end handbags is a growing segment, with its popular alligator trophy bag leading the way at $28,000. A smaller version goes for $12,000. Handbags once accounted for 50 percent of sales, but the company reduced production when one of its largest retail partners looked to go with lower- priced merchandise. Since then, Kieselstein-Cord has expanded, opening locations in Moscow, Zurich, Munich and Jakarta, allowing the company to reintroduce its handbag collection last fall. Kieselstein-Cord says the move abroad was years in the working. “We could see where the dollar is going,” he says, noting that the brand wanted to expand into Europe and the Far East. “We wanted to beat the crowd.” Not that Kieselstein-Cord plans to forget its roots. The company will sew and stamp new tags stating “Made in Manhattan” into its handbags and leather goods appearing in its fall 2009 collections. Kieselstein-Cord — which will open a second stand-alone store in Jakarta’s Plaza Indonesia this fall, and is set to launch stores in Singapore, Macao and Tokyo in 2009 — also is looking to broaden its presence in the eyewear market. The company licenses with Optical Shops of Aspen to produce and sell its eyewear, with some of its most popular styles sporting alligator trim and titanium-based frames. The glasses provide a lower access point to the brand for customers, given that sunglasses mostly range in price from $375 to $1,200. Some limited edition looks, however, reach upward of $3,500. Kieselstein-Cord also joined forces with Portolano for cashmere items and leather gloves and reached a product license with Steuben Glass for crystal and glassware. Gloves retail from $350 and up and cashmere pieces from $350 to $5,000. Steuben licensed products will include collectible glass art and large bowls, glassware and objet d ’art, starting at $200. All of the products will be available at Kieselstein-Cord stores and will be wholesaled to outside retailers as well. The company, which is further exploring growth opportunities in the fields of fragrance and timepieces, hopes to build annual sales from about $50 million to $300 million in the next five years. In the meantime, Kieselstein-Cord says, “if someone came along and said [we] should be a larger company, I’m not opposed to that.”
@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