Roberto Etxeberría and his namesake brand are all over the fashion radar.
Last year, the 38-year-old Barcelona-based men’s wear designer participated in a barrage of global trade events with Gernika, his sober gray and black spring collection. His unique brand of elongated silhouettes, below-the-knee pants, shorts and generally relaxed, volume-conscious shapes with zips-no-buttons detailing caught the attention of buyers in New York, Las Vegas, Paris, Berlin, Prague and Mexico.
Current accounts include such high-profile shops as Oak, Atrium and Untitled in New York, and Yoahm in Paris.
For next fall’s Midwinter Men collection, Etxeberría said, “I’m showing a complete day-to-night wardrobe. Volume takes inspiration from the Twenties and retro British tailoring, especially for evening clothes. Silhouettes are snug at the waist and knee, with a stronger shoulder and hip through Japanese sleeves and a double pleat with either a zipper or a seam.
The designer, who started his business in 2008, said his last two collections were based on roomy shapes and volume.
“Without meaning to, I distanced myself from traditional classic cuts,” he said. “I need to revisit the concept.”
Luxury fabrics “are fundamental in my work,” and for next fall, wools and felt are mixed with leather and fur. “The felts trace such traditional patterns as herringbone, houndstooth and jacquard, and obviously similar characteristics apply to the women’s line,” he added.
Retail prices are 240 to 800 euros ($328 to $1,094) for knit-and-leather combination pieces, and up to 1,800 euros ($2,461) for all-leather items.
Etxeberría works from his home, a stylish multilevel house with a Fifties vibe, swimming pool and penthouse studio skirting the Catalan capital. And that’s how he has managed to stay afloat in these rough economic times — “all prototypes and production [of the collections] is done there,” he said, adding that international sales have also been key.
Spanish brand Ana Locking by Ana González has a lot to say for itself — and it’s never quite what you might think.
For instance, her current spring collection, called What Does God Say, took as its starting point the American one-dollar bill.
“Inspiration takes form in an international icon, the American dollar, she said in her spring show notes. “The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ makes us reflect upon the title of the collection, What Does God Say. A contemporary man, after losing his faith, will in many cases believe more in the power of money than in himself or his own instincts.”
She added, “We’re losing our faith and our hope in each other; we need to be ourselves.”
For fall, the 43-year-old Madrid-based designer taps into a coast-to-coast trip across the U.S. American Landscape features pants and separates including “unconventional” sweatshirts with fewer dresses than usual. Colors are woodsy green, coral, red, brown and a denimlike blue.
The collection has an air of the modern cowboy, and it’s all mixed up with unexpected print and fabric combos like cotton tweed, Lurex and double-face Neoprene paired with sequins and, in some cases, feathers.
Retail prices range from 90 euros ($123) for a top or T-shirt to 200 euros ($274) for a skirt and 800 euros (about $1,100) for eveningwear.
Why the big interest in Americana? The American market is top priority, González said. “I love the U.S. culture — it’s very practical. Americans don’t waste your time and they have a great sense of humor.”
Her business, begun in 2008, is still small, with sales of about $200,000 a year. Currently the brand is looking for an investor, and scouting international showrooms in Paris and the U.S., “where we’re making inroads with various projects,” she said, specifically in Los Angeles and Hollywood. “It’s a bad moment in Spain. There is no buying power here, and no experience with fashion other than made-to-measure and low cost.”
“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