NEW YORK — José Ramón Reyes is moving up in more ways than one.
When the designer presents his fall Réyes collection at Industria Superstudios on Sunday, he will be showing a repositioned line — a notch up from contemporary, where he has tried to make a name for himself in the past two years, to young designer. He will do so by adding more luxurious fabrics and details, an eveningwear segment and, as a result, price points that are 30 percent higher than his previous incarnation.
Reyes cited several reasons for the transition to young designer. He said he manufactures out of New York, and his design process, including research trips to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and sensibility are more akin to the designer arena anyway. "Prices were already a notch above contemporary and too high for the floor we were in," he said.
Wholesale prices used to range from $80 to $800, but will now be in the vicinity of $150 to $1,800. The line seeks to position itself near the likes of Stella McCartney and Miu Miu. "The collection has always been rooted in American sportswear," Reyes said. "It will still be that, but we will be using more luxurious touches with intricate details."
For fall, the new Réyes will offer an extended knitwear assortment with a wider palette of stitches, embroidery from India, prints developed with Italian textile company Ratti and fur trim details on outerwear, including raccoon.
"I see young designer as the category with much potential for growth," Reyes, a recipient of this year's Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award, said. "The contemporary customer is a customer who looks for things to wear on the spot. She is not necessarily too concerned with the quality but more with the look."
The company also just moved uptown. After years of working out of his apartment on lower Fifth Avenue and wholesaling the collection out of the Fifty-Two showroom in TriBeCa, the Dominican designer decided to take wholesale in-house and recently opened a 2,000-square-foot office and showroom at 215 West 40th Street.
Réyes, which is available at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and a slew of specialty stores, currently has wholesale volume of $1 million. The designer is now aiming to add retail accounts globally. To that end, he entered a partnership with Japanese sales showroom Brand News K.K., with hopes to grow his business across Asia.To support the activity, the designer tapped Ellen Copeman as the head of global sales from Chloé, where she was general manager for the brand's North American business. Copeman will be based out of the new office and showroom space, and oversee global sales and distribution.
“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