Add another pre-fall appointment to your calendar — Rochas has returned. The collection, which is being shown to buyers today in New York, is the first for the French house since Gibò Co. SpA took over the license in 2008 and tapped Marco Zanini as creative director. Procter & Gamble, the firm’s owner, shuttered the fashion house in 2006, when Olivier Theyskens was creative director.
The move to add pre-seasons (resort will be next) is another strategic step toward rebuilding the Rochas label that garnered much acclaim in its previous incarnation under Theyskens, but failed to become commercially viable. “When we started here four seasons ago, we decided to take a very slow path to do things properly and take our time to develop the brand and its new identity,” Zanini said in a telephone conversation from Milan, where he spends the bulk of his time these days. “We felt that now it was time for us to introduce a pre-collection. The demand was there from the buyers.”
For his first pre-fall effort, the Italian-Swedish designer mixed a spare Nordic sensibility with a more romantic French elegance. The result is a sophisticated lineup of feminine charmeuse dresses (right) as well as quirky oversize wool velour coats and masculine baggy pants. Or, as he puts it, clothes for a nonconformist woman who likes to combine pieces that don’t necessarily go together. “For me, Rochas is all about playing with this kind of femininity, rather than obvious sensuality and mainstream glamour. I think French women are so self-confident that they can dare to propose themselves in a less obvious way.”
His message also is mirrored in how he styles the pieces. A skirt with ruffled, scalloped pleating is teamed with a manly merino knit sweater and loafers and topped with an offbeat astrakhan hat. “I took the chance to experiment with several shapes that I will propose and develop for the [fall] runway collection,” Zanini added.
The designer — who worked closely with Donatella Versace on the women’s and men’s Versace collections before moving to New York for a short-lived stint at Halston — sees Rochas’ pre-fall lineup as another stop on the house’s continuing journey. “It’s like an ongoing sentence for me,” he said. “One season you start it and you complete it with the upcoming collection. With pre-fall, I developed a look that is a consequence of my spring-summer collection. The look may have been different, but the quirky, modest attitude is also present in pre-fall.”
Gibò Co. SpA president Franco Penè agrees, saying that pre-seasons are simply the next natural next step for Rochas. At the time of the relaunch four seasons ago, he noted, the economic environment wasn’t exactly ideal for a brand that, while venerable, was considered something of a start-up. “We had to give the project the possibility to grow step by step,” Penè said. “At this stage, we see the project is working. We have had a really good reaction to it, and felt it was the right moment to make the next move.”
Rochas is currently distributed in about 80 stores worldwide, including Barneys New York and a slew of specialty stores. Pre-collections, which for many designers account for up to 70 percent of the season’s sales, are expected to help boost Rochas’ bottom line significantly. To that end, the house’s pre-fall and resort collections will be sold through Gibò’s New York and Milan showrooms, while the two main runway seasons will be offered in Paris. Such moves, Penè said, “are all the right tools for growing.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews