LONDON — Aquascutum will make its comeback in the U.S. market with a limited edition collection of coats and trenches inspired by designs from the Thirties through the Fifties.
The coats are based on Aquascutum pieces worn by Hollywood players including Daphne du Maurier, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren.
The collection, Aquascutum Vintage, will be sold in the U.S. exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman starting in the fall, and is meant to herald a new era for the brand.
"This collection sets the scene for who we really are," said Kim Winser, Aquascutum's president and chief executive, in an interview Wednesday. "The brand is about high-quality luxury, glamour and beautiful fabrics."
Winser joined the company in April 2006 with the goal of adding sparkle to Aquascutum's stodgy image, building its wholesale distribution and retail store network and pushing the company into a league with the big luxury players. Until now, the bulk of business has been done in the U.K. and Japan. She said the U.S. has the potential to generate 25 percent of Aquascutum's overall business over the next two to three years.
The ceo hopes to double total sales to $880 million by 2010. She said revenues for fall 2007 were already ahead of last season by 25 percent.
The Vintage collection consists of five designs with updated silhouettes. Winser discovered the original designs — and records of who had worn them — in Aquascutum's archive room, which doubled as her temporary office.
In that same room, at Aquascutum's Regent Street store, Winser came across Aqua 5, a patented, waterproof fabric first launched in 1959. Royal photographer Lord Snowdon shot the original Aqua 5 campaign. Two of the coats in the Vintage collection are made from an updated Aqua 5 fabric, while the rest are made in duchesse satin, napa leather or double cashmere.
The Vintage collection, which also will sell at Browns and Harrods in London, Villa Moda and Harvey Nichols, is for women. The men's counterpart will launch next year. Prices range from $1,700 to $4,000. An online waiting list for the coats will launch later this month on aquascutum.com. Model Gisele Bündchen wears one of the coats in Aquascutumzs fall 2007 ad campaign, which was shot on location at Cliveden.In other news, Winser said the brand plans to open its first Moscow unit in the fall.
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“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.
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