It took him eight years to perfect his men's wear operations and image, and now he's building his women's business with the same patience.
Indeed, for those ladies who aren't too thrilled by frilly frocks or retro reruns, Barrett offers a sexy take on his staple men's wear tailoring that is proving a valid alternative.
After two years of full-fledged women's collections, Barrett is considering a runway show in February, possibly in Paris.
"The line is maturing as a collection for real women that is feminine but men's wear-driven, with fitted blouses or bottoms made from shirting and suiting fabrics such as chalk stripes, poplins, sharkskin and oxford," said Barrett, who headed Prada men's wear until 1999, when he branched out on his own.
Already Barrett's line is carried in 160 sales points worldwide, including Steve in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Relish in Washington; Blake in Chicago, Browns in London and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.
The designer proudly states that his men's wear has morphed into a 52 million euro, or $72 million at current exchange, business, without advertising or a major public relations office. Now, the women's line accounts for 30 percent of sales, but the company expects its volume to reach that of today's men's sales by 2011.
Barrett's spring highlights include vests of all lengths and colors; leather pieces, from bombers to shrunken blazers in soft napa, distressed leather and suede; finely spun knitwear; Mako cotton jersey basics, and lacquered jeans. Tailored details such as skinny lapels, cuffs and vests are often inserted into dresses.
Wholesale prices range from $125 for pants to $153 for knitwear to $512 for suits.
The British designer is also working with an undisclosed top architect to develop the brand's first store concept.
The blueprint, which will meld ultramodern elements with natural ones, will be unveiled with the opening of Barrett's flagship in Seoul in February.
Next summer, a Barrett outpost will open in Los Angeles.
In June, the designer doubled his Milan headquarters but is already in talks to acquire another 4,500 square feet to house the increasing collections and staff."We're growing so fast that we don't fit anymore," said Barrett. "In January, we want to present the women's collection a week after the men's, so we're working on production and deliveries."
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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