Dialed-in as she is with the Los Angeles scene, Vera Wang will make that connection even tighter with next year’s opening of a Rodeo Drive store.
As a go-to designer for red-carpet-bound actresses and VIP brides, Wang has a Hollywood home and spends up to five weeks on the West Coast each year. With the lease for her Melrose Avenue boutique up in a few months, she plans to move into the two-tier, 5,500-square-foot boutique at 428 North Rodeo Drive in January. “So much of my business and my perspective is from and done in Hollywood,” Wang said Thursday.
“We are ready to take on a more international neighborhood. But it’s not as though L.A. is an unimportant city given our affinity for Hollywood,” Wang said Thursday. “It is the second-biggest city in the country. And it is certainly a city that reflects and recognizes all of our culture — the arts, music and fashion
The company will move into what Hermès has been using as a temporary space until its new freestanding store a few doors down opens in early September. “Anything that has Hermès on it I’m glad to participate in,” Wang quipped.
Saint Laurent also has a pop-up store nearby while its Beverly Hills location gets an overhaul. Having secured her own location this spring with the help of chief operating officer Bill Mitchell, Wang said, “We were very lucky to have gotten the space because a lot is already [taken] on Rodeo.
For the store’s design, Wang turned to Brian Sawyer of the New York-based interdisciplinary architectural firm Sawyer Berson. He also got the nod to renovate the designer’s New York apartment two years ago. Once the new Los Angeles address is set, Vera Wang bridal, red-carpet gowns, ready-to-wear, fragrance and accessories will be showcased. “It will be a whole compilation of things. We are working on a new shoe deal, so there should be that too,” Wang said. “There is a very international crowd in LA. There are a lot of shoppers from the Middle East and Asia — that’s a hop and a skip away — as well as all the local ethnicities. It’s a huge world.”
Before the financial crisis a few years back, Wang had lined up a second Melrose Avenue lease for her Lavender label. After hitting the brakes on that project, the company kept the location, but never moved in. As is the case with all of her five locations in the U.S., the new one will be owned and operated by her company. Internationally, there are a total of 20 Vera Wang and Vera Wang Bride shops, with a Beijing store scheduled to open in the next 18 months. The designer has set her sights on Miami and eventually Paris for freestanding stores, but she has yet to sign a lease in either city.
Having been making regular trips to Los Angeles for the past 24 years, Wang’s celebrity quota shot up after Sharon Stone wore one of her floor-length skirts to the 1998 Oscars. But don’t expect the designer to become bicoastal after her Beverly Hills store opens. She said her travels will continue to center on the lead-up to the Golden Globe Awards and the Oscars, as well as the occasional photo shoot. “I have never lived there, nor would I live there. I have a business to run in New York,” Wang said.
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