PARIS — Signaling a new expansion phase, Yves Saint Laurent plans to take up residence on the French capital’s premier luxury shopping street with a three-level flagship at 53 Avenue Montaigne.
The 10,000-square-foot boutique, slated to open in early 2012, is to showcase the French brand’s complete product universe, including women’s wear, men’s wear and accessories.
YSL president Valérie Hermann characterized the project as an important milestone for the 49-year-old brand, and a “sign of health and growth for the company.”
Indeed, she hinted at other upcoming retail projects, including a new flagship in China and a second location in New York City. YSL, part of PPR’s Gucci Group luxury division, is entering “a period of focused expansion,” she said.
The Montaigne unit is expected to be an evolution of the “Opium experience” design concept that YSL and its creative director, Stefano Pilati, first unveiled in 2008 at its historic location in Saint-Sulpice on Paris’ Left Bank.
That unit boasts pale stone, accents of polished brass and ceilings and wall panels in glossy lacquer the color of the French brand’s famous perfume bottle and packaging.
YSL will join the crème de la crème of European brands on Montaigne, including the historic Christian Dior flagship and — right next door — a lavish two-level Chanel location slated to open in late 2011.
Other residents on the strip include Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi, Akris, Nina Ricci, Valentino, Marni and Harry Winston.
YSL will take over a space currently occupied by Escada. Alexandra Valtin, Escada’s head of marketing, said the brand is looking for other locations on the street. Its lease runs out at the end of the year.
YSL already operates four freestanding stores in Paris, including two units on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and another on Rue de Grenelle.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast