NEW YORK — The store may not have been merchandised yet, but that didn’t stop John Bartlett from using the space for his spring 2008 presentation during New York Fashion Week.
In a reflection of the designer’s personal interest in India, the spring collection straddled East and West with American sportswear such as bell-bottom jeans, as well as traditional Middle Eastern djellabas and European-style swimwear. Among the more tailored looks were a pinstripe waistcoat, oxford-cloth dress shirts and a tie with a barbed-wire motif.
As an exercise in less energy-intensive manufacturing, samples were made almost entirely without electricity in New Delhi, using kick-pedal sewing machines and hand-operated knitting machines. The quantity of looks was slashed from the amount required in past seasons for Bartlett’s runway shows. Bartlett’s unstocked store provided a clean backdrop.
“I wanted to get people into the space without the clutter of product,” Bartlett said of his first retail store, a 500-square-foot space at 143 Seventh Avenue South at Charles Street in the heart of Greenwich Village.
The interior, which was designed by David Gauld, features fieldstone walls, wood floors, exposed rafters and a bank of windows that add a bright, open feeling. It opened to the public on Saturday, Sept. 15.
“It makes me feel like a retailer,” Bartlett said. “But I’ve been doing this for so long that I welcome a new learning curve.”
He said the store allowed him “to create whatever I wanted” without worrying about his retail customaers, which include Saks Fifth Avenue in New York as well as specialty stores around the country. As a result, the store features Bartlett’s entire collection of tailored clothing, sportswear, furnishings and accessories, as well as ceramics, fragrances, books, candles and unique items on which he collaborated with local artisans.
He said the store does not compete with Saks because of its downtown location and if the department store’s merchants “see something in my store that they don’t have, they can order it.”
Bartlett said he chose the West Village because he believes “my clothes encapsulate the freer environment” of the area. In addition, he recently moved into the neighborhood, and “ever since I started [this business] I always wanted to be able to walk to work.”
“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