PARIS — Coming off a strong 2010, Lanvin continues its global march and is partnering with Mercury Group to open three boutiques in Moscow this fall, WWD has learned.
The French brand, enjoying strong momentum under creative director Alber Elbaz, is also scouting Manhattan to open a freestanding men’s unit before the end of the year, following last summer’s opening of a Madison Avenue flagship.
On Tuesday, Lanvin unveiled an 1,100-square-foot women’s store on Milan’s Via Spiga, the first of several volleys in Italy. A 1,500-square-foot Rome boutique, in partnership with local multibrand retailer Gente Roma, is slated to open before the end of the month, and the brand is zeroing in on a lease to open a like-size unit in Bologna this summer.
Lanvin executive vice president Thierry Andretta disclosed the developments in an exclusive interview Tuesday, and revealed preliminary financial results for the privately held Paris fashion house, controlled by Taiwanese media magnate Shaw-Lan Wang.
Revenues last year are estimated to have reached 168 million euros, or $223.1 million at average exchange rates, a 27 percent increase over 2009 and achieved without adding additional wholesale doors, Andretta said. He declined to specify earnings before interest and taxes, but it is understood the company’s profitability and free cash flow accelerated, allowing it to self-finance expansion.
What’s more, same-store sales — in directly operated boutiques open for more than a year — advanced 32 percent, with strength across all product categories for men and women.
“Everything is moving in the right direction,” said Andretta. The executive noted that forthcoming shops in Shanghai’s IFC Complex, a 2,350-square-foot women’s boutique adjacent to a 1,400-square-foot men’s store, would be a model for future units. “Every time we have separate locations between men’s and ladies, it’s performing a little better,” he explained.
Lanvin has been particularly active in Asia, and also on Tuesday opened in Beijing’s Sanlitun retail complex.
In Moscow, the brand is already present in the Tsum department store, in partnership with Mercury, and will soon add women’s shoes and men’s footwear and accessories. The three freestanding units, slated for September openings, are in the Crocus Mall, Barvikha Village center and Tretyakovsky Passage, a luxury strip not far from the Kremlin and Red Square, each with separate spaces for men’s and women’s.
“In Moscow, our choice was not to go direct, but to find the best possible partner,” Andretta noted.
Meanwhile, the Milan unit, located in an 18th-century town house, echoes the configuration of the brand’s historic Paris flagship on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Both are narrow units with multiple windows running down one side. He declined to pinpoint revenue projections, but asserted the unit would be profitable during its first year of operation.
The decor features black-and-white Carrara marble floors, reflected by several mirrors on the walls. Furniture is Art Deco and includes a historical sofa in the shoe salon. A large bookcase displays handbags while iron black shelves, glass and metal windows display jewelry and shoes.
Different and contrasting elements are juxtaposed, such as chandeliers mixed with natural oak walls embellished with molding and irregular details. An animal print rug lies on the floor. There is also a room with evening gowns that can be curtained off for private fittings.
Lanvin plans to host a party for the Milan boutique during the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in April.
“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