LONDON — So what happens when a small and groovy east London label joins forces with an international corporate behemoth? Tune in this Thursday for the answer.
Boudicca, the quirky — and cerebral — tailored clothing label designed by Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby, will make its New York debut at the Soho Grand Hotel, thanks in part to corporate godmother American Express.
The New York show is the first major step Boudicca is taking after winning a sponsorship — and partnership — deal with AmEx in the U.K. in the summer of 2003. Boudicca replaced Alexander McQueen as part of an AmEx U.K. project aimed at promoting the U.K. fashion industry.
Broach said it’s the right time to show in the U.S., Boudicca’s largest market, which generates 70 percent of sales. “It’s time to solidify our relationships with our American customers. The core values of our company are time and intimacy, which is why we want to come to our biggest clients this season,” she added. Boudicca’s largest and longest-standing U.S. client is Barneys.
The line, which is named after the queen of the Iceni, or native Britons, who during the first century A.D. revolted against the Roman army, also sells at Nordstrom, Wyn in Las Vegas and Seven in New York.
The duo’s design philosophy is “form follows emotion,” and the fall collection is called Animate. “To enliven and inspire,” said Broach, adding the collection is filled with Boudicca’s sharp tailoring, lots of layering and items like high-waisted coat jackets paired with low-waisted skirts.
Projects over the next three years include a signature fragrance and a traveling fashion and art exhibition. The pair hope for revenue growth of 15 to 20 percent. Kirkby, a Manchester native, and Broach, who is from the south coast of England, met in Italy, where both were working. Partners in business and in life, they started showing Boudicca as part of London's off-schedule shows in 1997.
“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