“Luxurious, romantic, stylish and comfortable.” That’s how Vera Wang described not her latest runway collection, but her branded mattresses with Serta in a 2006 television commercial. To some, that ad may have come as a surprise. After all, what was Wang, celebrated designer of bridal and more recently ready-to-wear, doing shilling beds?
As it turns out, Wang is having the last laugh. Her deal with Serta is the company’s fourth-largest license and rapidly growing. Sales are already up by 20 percent this year. “People tend to diminish the project,” said Vera Wang president Mario Grauso, “but it’s turned into a huge business. There’s massive distribution.”
In fact, Wang’s licenses form the backbone of her business. “They far surpass what we’re doing in volume for ready-to-wear and bridal,” Grauso added. “In today’s marketplace, to just have a [fashion] collection would be almost impossible. [The licensees] make us profitable.” The designer’s portfolio ranges from the usual suspects (fragrance, eyewear) to the unusual (FTD floral arrangements and Barbie dolls, in addition to the mattresses). Her agreement with Kohl’s, which includes costume jewelry, apparel, bath and bedding, is the largest.
Wang’s strength in bridal gave her an added advantage. Here, introducing her name to china, stationery and beds proved a savvy move, especially considering the booming registry business, which is projected to be $12.4 billion, according to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com. And only Wang could credibly pull off a honeymoon suite, which she has at Honolulu’s Halekulani Hotel.
In the next year, moreover, the designer plans to introduce home fragrance (Nest Fragrances), luggage (Hartmann) and high-end bedding (Revman International).
“I’m building upon the trust the customer has with us and engaging them in other dialogues,” Wang said, while noting that her dream licensee would be in activewear. “I love sports. I would do skating, golf, tennis — any kind of activewear. Even when I’m not active, that’s how I dress anyway.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews