The Council of Fashion Designers of America offered a crash course in business for aspiring and up-and-coming designers Wednesday at Saks Fifth Avenue — the first of a three-part lecture series.
Four panelists — Peter Arnell, chairman and chief creative officer of the Arnell Group; Kimberly Grabel, Saks Fifth Avenue's senior vice president, marketing; Nanette Lepore, and Kristina O'Neill, Harper's Bazaar's fashion news, feature director — talked about their views on such subjects as celebrity gift-giving, unsolicited e-mails, runway shows and media-savvy consumers.
Arnell recalled how after studying architecture and engineering at Columbia University, he taught at Princeton University but agreed to work for Dawn Mello at Bergdorf Goodman designing windows and creating ads to help pay the bills. Through Mello he met Donna Karan, for whom he wound up creating ad campaigns.
"I don't think anyone in this day and age can plot out a road map. They just have to really listen and decide what they want to do," Arnell said.
Lepore said her company has always centered on product rather than marketing. One of her first hires was a patternmaker — "I knew my limitations," she said.
Fit trumps hype, according to Lepore. "Everyone is trying to rush to do a show. I think it's ill-advised," she said. "The stores give you one or two seasons and then you're out if you can't pull your own weight."
Grabel said Saks looks for the combination of "a gifted, talented designer and a really good business partner." Young designers need to have a clear sense of who they are designing for and the marketplace void they are hoping to fill.
O'Neill advised newcomers to pace themselves: "Let your résumé develop. Put your time in."
Courting celebrities was another matter. When Lepore was starting her business, she worried about giving freebies to friends and family, but her accountant assured her that was good for business. "The more people wearing the clothing, the better, even though it's not Sienna Miller and it's your neighbor. Give them really good prices or give them clothing to get your message out there," she said.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)