NEW YORK — Just Cavalli is back, and as flamboyant as ever.
Nearly two years after former licensing partner Ittierre closed Just Cavalli’s store on Fifth Avenue here, the brand has opened with new licensee Staff International, through Staff USA, a 5,650-square-foot flagship in SoHo.
The store, at 434 West Broadway, near Grand Street, represents the brand’s comeback after Ittierre’s severe financial woes clipped its expansion wings.
“I think the brand was like a beloved child that was seriously ill, and I feel like the doctor,” Roberto Cavalli told WWD. “I enjoyed bringing it back.
“I like the idea of having the store on West Broadway, because I used to live there,” he added. “It’s an area that I adore. There are also a number of designer brands that rarely make mistakes in positioning, such as Giorgio Armani’s Emporio Armani store, for example.” RELATED STORY: Just Cavalli RTW Spring 2014 >>
“In the last year, this area underwent a huge transformation with art galleries and stores,” said Monica Voltolina, chief executive officer of Staff USA. “Uptown, we’ve developed a strong partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue.” She said a shop-in-shop at Saks is in Just Cavalli’s future. Meanwhile, men’s wear is sold at Bloomingdale’s.
“We will open more stores,” Voltolina said. “We have tremendous success in Miami” with wholesale accounts. “Miami is definitely in our future, and Los Angeles for sure. It will happen very soon, I’d say we’re working on that.” Voltolina declined to be more specific. She said the brand could open a freestanding unit in Canada, where it has wholesale accounts.
“The line has been growing 25 percent to 35 percent each season, almost from scratch, after the Ittierre tragedy,” the designer said. “We need another couple of years to return to phenomenal [sales] figures.” Sales are now at around 90 million euros, or $121.6 million at current exchange. They were at around 200 million euros years ago, before Ittierre’s financial troubles.
The store references iconic Cavalli symbols such as animal prints, with python skin-pattern fabric embedded in glass steps on the staircase to the lower level, leopard print on diamond-shaped screens behind the windows and animal spots on a diamond-shaped video wall. “We gave a digital soul to the store,” Voltolina said. “It’s a virtual store for clients to see through renderings and images.”
An unusual sofa and side tables made from layers of fabric from previous collections was designed by Cavalli and anchors the main floor shoe area near the runway collection. The main Just Cavalli collection and pre-collection hang downstairs along with a men’s wear area and VIP room. The latter is paneled in blackened wood and has a large layered fabric ottoman. Some of the most unusual runway pieces hang in the VIP area, such as a short blue-and-white fox fur jacket for $20,965. Dresses range from $395 for jersey to $995 for embroidered silk. A black leather and lace jacket in the main collection is $1,400. Jewelry, watches and handbags are also offered.
Cavalli and Renzo Rosso, founder of Only the Brave, or OTB, which owns Staff, in December will attend a party at the store to celebrate the opening.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)