BEVERLY HILLS — “I’m home,” Diego Della Valle said as he touched down at Tod’s Rodeo Drive flagship.
The chairman and chief executive officer of Tod’s SpA arrived here Thursday to launch Tod’s new store design, based on the interior of a home. The once minimalist white-walled and tan leather three-story space now has a warm, residential feel — albeit with a sleek, midcentury modern vibe.
“The idea is to give to our customers a good welcome home,” Della Valle said. “We’ve had a strong relationship with them for the last 30 years and, for many customers, Tod’s now is a family brand. The message is, ‘Please come back to our home, your home.’ It’s not important whether you buy or not, but we want to show you what we can offer while you take time, have a coffee, have a stress-free shopping moment.”
Seeking to differentiate Tod’s from rival retailers, Della Valle said, “Our customers travel the world, and they don’t want to see the same thing in Milan, London and New York. Yesterday I was in Milan, today I’m in L.A., and Monday I’ll be in New York. I like if I walk between Rodeo Drive, Madison Avenue and Via Spiga to have a good reason for a visit, no?”
The first floor is dedicated to the women’s collection, with the house’s signature driving moccasins and handbags featured near the entrance. Where there once were shelves and glass cases, there are now vintage teak credenzas and round tables showcasing the merchandise. The three-story wall that runs alongside one side of the entryway features shelves piled with coffee-table books and other vintage home accessories.
The middle of the floor features a living room vignette of low-slung sofas and Danish chairs upholstered in vintage gray, tan and brown linen. In the rear of the floor is the first U.S. custom corner — a choose-your-own-color and leather program that has only been available in the Milan, Paris and Munich stores.
The men’s collection is on the second floor, where a vintage modular desk holds shoes and leather accessories, while a long dining room like table opposite another sitting area shows off more shoes.
The third-floor VIP area was designed by Oscar-winning set designer Dante Ferretti, a close friend of Della Valle’s. The mood is evocative of a Forties movie set, with darkened mirrors on the walls and red leather Art Deco style club chairs, opening up to a sunny terrace with painted wrought iron tables and red-cushioned chairs.
“The message is our company doesn’t follow the fast-fashion strategy,” Della Valle said. “We want to be the best handmade products and fantastic materials. We don’t do product for three months. It is iconic and long-term.”
Tod’s plans to roll out the residential-style concept in all its flagships, each with furnishings reflective of the locale. Della Valle said he chose Los Angeles as the first test store because of the high concentration of VIP clients and Hollywood fans such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Katie Holmes.
But this year has ushered in a new focus on the real-life customer.
“It was a simple strategy that arrived during one meeting: Why don’t we try to show who we are? Usually in advertising campaigns we make a set for models and try to create a special world. For us, this was easy because this is our world.”
It’s not a world without challenges, as luxury has struggled to rebound, but Della Valle has taken a straightforward approach.
“Our strategy is, ‘Don’t change what you are doing. Don’t forget who you are.’ The business day by day is bigger. The first quarter was very good. I think between now and the end of the year, it’s possible to have good news about numbers and turnover.”
In terms of innovation, Della Valle pointed to quality control as the company strives to create supply to meet the demand.
He considers the China market “a potential new big market. I think that people there have a very strong sensibility about quality. They want status symbols. But when you win the test in a market like California, everything after that is easier to do. When you are strong in America, Asia follows.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
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)