Chitose Abe is what one might call a fashion late bloomer.Roughly 15 years after launching her Tokyo-based collection, Sacai, Abe has experienced a recent surge in interest. Some credit the uptick to Karl Lagerfeld, who was seen wearing a Sacai blazer around Paris last season; others pinpoint Anna Wintour’s pit stop in Abe’s showroom during a 2011 trip to Tokyo. Regardless, the press caught onto Sacai when Abe upgraded her Paris presentation to a full runway show for fall 2011. “I felt the clothes needed to be worn on the runway to see the three-dimensionality of them,” said Abe of her hybrid cuts — spring’s sporty Windbreakers in grand Sixties couture volumes, for example — during an interview Tuesday morning at Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue flagship.Making an impact on the Paris show schedule has thrust Abe’s business into expansion mode outside of Japan, where she’s had a steady following and a freestanding store since 2011. She sees the U.S. market as the biggest opportunity, thus this week’s trip to the States for the first time in seven years. She’s doing bicoastal personal appearances with Barneys, today at the Madison Avenue flagship followed by a small dinner at Omar’s. Her next stop is Los Angeles for a store appearance on Thursday and an event at the Hammer Museum on Friday.RELATED STORY: Sacai RTW Spring 2014 >> Arriving in New York on Monday left little time for touring, although visiting downtown art galleries and some furniture shopping were on Abe’s agenda, with the opportunity to interact with her American clientele as the big priority. “I’m very proud to be an independent woman, a mother of a 15-year-old daughter, with a full-time job,” said Abe. “I think women in America identify with that more than in other places.”Barneys stocks Sacai’s main collection as well as the more casual Sacai Luck, yet interestingly, Abe said that her runway pieces are the top sellers in the U.S., where they attract “women who want to feel empowered by clothes but don’t feel the need to wear a power suit,” she said. Indeed, the Sacai aesthetic, with its focus on complicated cuts and what Abe describes as “something a little off” can be classified as distinctly Japanese. Prior to launching her own line, Abe worked at Comme des Garçons as a patternmaker with Rei Kawakubo before joining Junya Watanabe’s design team. Abe’s interpretation of Comme des Garçons’s avant school of thought is more playful and light than Kawakubo and Watanabe’s work. It’s tempting to call the look youthful, particularly in light of the bright and athletic collection she just showed for spring, but Abe says her customer base covers a broad age range. “Women in their 60s wear it, at least in Japan, and much younger women, too,” said Abe, 48, who made the case for the individualist wearability of her line by dressing in a velvet dress and trench combination from her fall collection — paired with high-top Vans and a handful of Repossi rings. Her outfit was definitely not wearing her.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)