PARIS — How’s this for conceptual: Despite a grim economic climate, Martin Margiela’s freestanding stores and corners in Paris logged a 21 percent sales increase in January versus a year ago.
On average, sales in Margiela’s 35 shops and corners around the world posted a January bump north of 10 percent.
It’s a sign of continued, albeit tempered, momentum for the iconoclastic men’s and women’s wear designer, who celebrated 20 years in fashion last fall amid wide speculation he was walking off into the sunset.
“He’s still in his position,” assured Margiela chief executive Giovanni Pungetti, while disclosing the Belgian designer has recently reduced his day-to-day involvement and is now rarely spotted in the company’s rickety, all-white hallways. “He’s not here eight hours a day.”
Asked if Margiela would be backstage at his women’s fall fashion show on Friday, the ceo shrugged, “I don’t know. Sometimes he is, sometimes not.”
In an interview in his office at Margiela’s quirky headquarters, his desk a thick pane of glass laid over two sawhorses, Pungetti said the company would continue to expand its product universe and exhibit at Milan’s furniture fair Salone del Mobile next month.
“The idea is to go to Milan to show our philosophy in interiors that can be interpreted in the future. We feel our brand is a universe that can be enlarged to other territories,” he said.
Pungetti was cryptic so as not to spoil the “surprise” of its presentation. He characterized the Salone presence as more of a teaser for a launch in 2010 rather than an introduction of home objects or furniture.
The furniture collection is another example of the expansion of the brand since it was acquired by Renzo Rosso’s Only the Brave Srl in 2002. The house’s first fragrance, under license with beauty giant L’Oréal, will be unveiled to the trade in November, with distribution to follow in 2010, Pungetti confirmed.
What’s more, a second collection of fine jewelry, in partnership with Italy’s Damiani, will be unveiled later this year. Pungetti cited promising sell-through above 40 percent in the company’s London and Paris stores for the first collection, which arrived last November. Retail prices range from 1,000 to 5,000 euros, or $1,250 to $7,250.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)