GILLES MONTEZIN: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1 p.m., Verdura, 745 Fifth Avenue
Pedigree: An education at Paris’ Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne served Montezin well at Christian Lacroix, where he worked on the haute couture collection for five years. The Canadian-born designer went on to assist at Azzaro under Loris Azzaro, but eventually grew tired of the hierarchical French design world (“I was not patient; I’ve never been very patient,” he says), and launched his namesake line two years ago.
Stats: Wholesale prices are about $550 for tops and $600 for dresses, but can go up to $1,110 for elaborate eveningwear. The collection is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Frances Heffernan in Winetka, Ill., and Kleinfeld in New York.
Spring forecast: Sparkle aplenty — sequined dresses and lamé dominate the lineup of 30 looks, inspired by, Montezin says, “what Sophia Loren would wear on the Riviera.”
JEN KAO: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1 to 4 p.m., 250 West 39th Street
Pedigree: Kao is an alum of Jill Stuart, Twinkle by Wenlan and Southpaw. Although she has a penchant for the avant-garde, “I think working at those companies taught me about taming things down,” she says. Her undergraduate work with mixed-media sculpture at New York University also informed her approach to “piecing together fabrics that don’t usually go together,” such as cotton and chiffon, or denim and lace.
Stats: This will be Kao’s first collection to be sold in the U.S. Her fall 2007 debut was sold exclusively to Loveless in Tokyo. Wholesale prices begin at $250 and go up to $1,000 for evening dresses.
Spring forecast: Kao plans to show 15 looks with a backdrop of photographs by art star Ryan McGinley.
AGATHA RUIZ DE LA PRADA: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 4 to 8 p.m., 135 Wooster Street
Pedigree: In her native Spain, de la Prada is a one-woman design force. Aside from clothes (she launched her collection in the early Eighties), everything from tiles and plates to stationery and electrical plugs bears her name. And what’s more, she is completely self-taught.
This story first appeared in the September 4, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Stats: The designer’s 10 European stores and her outpost in New York’s SoHo all carry the line, which wholesales from $27 to $273, with handmade pieces starting at $110.
Spring forecast: “You like it or you hate it, but you don’t forget it,” de la Prada says of her signature Day-Glo palette. Inspired by a Sixties vision of outer space à la Paco Rabanne, her spring collection of 20 to 25 looks incorporates metals, polyurethane and patent leather.
PREEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 2 p.m., the Soho Grand Hotel, 310 West Broadway
Pedigree: Though they’ve been stalwarts of London Fashion Week, Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton are new to the Big Apple this season. Thornton started out studying fashion and textiles at the U.K.’s Winchester School of Art, while Bregazzi majored in fashion and business at the University of Central Lancashire. They met while working at Helen Storey, where Thornton was designing a line of recycled clothing called Second Life.
Stats: The line, which the duo launched in 1996, is sold at Seven New York and H. Lorenzo in Los Angeles, Selfridges and Liberty of London. Wholesale prices range from $170 to $370 for silk knits to $500 to $960 for jackets. (Their more accessible diffusion collection is returning to Topshop for fall.)
Spring forecast: According to Thornton, the collection is about taking a more relaxed approach to “the graphic, figure-hugging silhouettes we’ve been exploring throughout the seasons.” The pair will show 35 looks, including wraparound silk shirtdresses and soft tailored pants.
LERARIO BEATRIZ: Thursday, Sept. 6, 6 to 8 p.m., 320 Studios, 320 West 37th Street
Pedigree: After fashion school in São Paulo, designer Ana Lerario (whose company moniker comes from her middle name) interned at Jean Yu. She then spent four years working at Marc Jacobs before leaving to become the head designer of Tsesay. Eventually, she became interested in “doing a showroom with a designer point of view” and opened Fiftytwo showroom in 2004. Today, the business showcases Réyes, Mischen, Maria Bonita Extra, Coven, Araks and Rosa Chá by Amir Slama, as well as Lerario’s own line, which she launched for spring 2006.
Stats: Sold at Nordstrom, Jake in Chicago and Mick Margo in New York’s West Village, Lerario Beatriz’s wholesale prices range from $100 to $500.
Spring forecast: Lerario was inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor this season. “What interested me most was their lifestyle,” she says, “royal sophistication with ethnic elements.” To wit, she will showcase 15 to 20 looks, including dresses with chiffon patchwork and classic sportswear looks done in eyelet.
NOIR: Saturday, Sept. 8, 5 p.m., The Art Directors Club, 106 West 29th Street
Pedigree: In the midst of studying at the Danish School of Design, Peter Ingwersen was recruited by Levi’s to become a design assistant, a post that led to a brand director title at Levi’s Red and Levi’s Vintage. He later became managing director of Day Birger et Mikkelsen. With his own line, he says his mission is to produce ethical fashion in a way that remains “extremely sophisticated and also sexy,” using environmentally friendly fabrics and African cotton.
Stats: Tops and blouses are about $200 wholesale, while jackets and dresses are approximately $400. Noir is sold at Takashimaya in New York, Ikram in Chicago and Harvey Nichols in London.
Spring forecast: Roughly 30 looks, most with transparent elements. Although, Ingwersen notes, “It’s not a complete transparent collection — that would be too much.”
RUBIN SINGER: Saturday, Sept. 8, 5 p.m., Eyebeam, 540 West 21st Street
Pedigree: “I’ve kind of been around this industry the whole of my cognizant life,” quips Singer. His father outfitted prima ballerinas at the Bolshoi Ballet, Method actors at the Stanislavsky theater and even horses and elephants for the Moscow Theater. However, the younger Singer is out to clothe city girls. Stints at Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and Kai Milla, where he served as head designer until this January, have informed his spring collection.
Stats: His first fall collection sold to Linda Dresner, Forty Five Ten in Dallas, Janet Brown in Port Washington, N.Y., Des Kohan in Los Angeles and Vakko in Istanbul. For spring, wholesale prices for most items range from $250 to $1,200.
Spring forecast: Expect 35 looks inspired by Singer’s visits to construction sites — everything from tire treads re-created on embossed leather to shiny surfaces evoking oil slicks. The lineup includes rainwear, jersey tops and dresses, hand-knit sweaters, eveningwear and swimwear.
CASCANTE: Saturday, Sept. 8, 5 p.m., The Gallery at the Prince George Ballroom, 15 East 27th Street
Pedigree: Luis Cascante has worked for Matthew Ames, American Apparel, Myself by Kai Kühne (where he served as head designer for two years) and VPL’s Victoria Bartlett, but he says his most challenging project to date was making giant, realistic-looking puppets of Threeasfour’s Adi, Ange and Gabi for the Deitch Projects Art Parade. They were later featured in the window of Threeasfour’s Broadway store in New York. Cascante is also known for the dustup with Kühne that ended their professional relationship. However, things are still copacetic with the Threeasfour crew — Cascante’s show will open for theirs.
Stats: Wholesale prices and retail accounts remain fashionably undecided.
Spring forecast: “I’m trying to make a point with each piece,” says Cascante, explaining his decision to include only 10 looks. The items, primarily jackets and dresses, are inspired by Santa Fe and crafted from earth-toned canvas.
DEVELOPMENT BY ERICA DAVIES/ERICA DAVIES COLLECTION: Sunday, Sept. 9, 4 p.m., Chelsea Art Museum, 556 West 22nd Street
Pedigree: While she’s already built a reputation for herself in Los Angeles, this will be Erica Davies’ first New York show. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, she worked for 10 years “on and off” at Richard Tyler, contributing to his Byblos line and the relaunch of his Tyler label, among other projects. She began working at Development two years ago, and at the same time began her own capsule dress line, the Erica Davies Collection. Both will be shown on Sunday.
Stats: Development, which wholesales from $135 to $240 (though leather pieces can run up to $400), is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Belle Gray in Los Angeles and on net-a-porter.com. Erica Davies Collection, which ranges from $340 to $580, is sold at Septième Etage in Geneva and has just been picked up by Neiman Marcus for fall 2007.
Spring forecast: Forty-two looks will be shown, of which 30 will be from Development and 12 from Erica Davies Collection. This season, Development is inspired by digital art and the architect Karim Rashid, ideas that translate into tribal-printed dresses and parachute tops in rayon voile. (The runway show will incorporate several shoes and bags from its new accessories collection.) Meanwhile, Erica Davies Collection takes the designer’s recent trip to the Himalayas as its point of departure. Look for zebra prints and Aztec influences, plus double-layered dresses with electric blue or fuchsia underpieces. “Even if the dress is very feminine, the colors are always a little odd,” Davies notes.
POLTOCK AND WALSH: Monday, Sept. 10, 3 p.m., Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
Pedigree: Katie Walsh and Fiamma Poltock were classmates at London’s Kingston University, graduating in 2004. Both worked as design assistants — Poltock for John Richmond and Walsh for Alexander McQueen — before deciding to collaborate on a line last year. “We both just really respected each other’s work. We have quite different ways of designing, but it always goes well together,” reflects Walsh.
Stats: Sold at Sefton in London, the pieces wholesale from $260 for tops to $1,110 for dresses.
Spring forecast: Poltock and Walsh really know how to give a girl options. Among the 25 looks are the Statement Mac, a raincoat in polished cotton with 3-D pieces that can zip off “if you don’t feel you want to stand out too much,” according to Walsh, not to mention an LBD with a detachable neckpiece.
THREAD SOCIAL: Monday, Sept. 10, 4 p.m., M. Boesky Gallery, 509 West 24th Street
Pedigree: Co-designers Beth Blake and Melissa Akey studied graphic design, Blake at Simmons College and Akey at the University of Michigan. Blake put in time as a stylist at Vogue and Chanel while Akey helped launch the Image Studio at Barneys New York. Blake started Thread, a line of hip bridesmaids’ dresses, in 1999 with co-designer Sophie Simmons. Founded last year, Thread Social is the fashionable offshoot that aims to clothe girls beyond the bridal party.
Stats: Wholesale prices range from $125 to $420; retailers include Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Scoop and Intermix.
Spring forecast: Blake promises that this collection “will probably be our most sophisticated,” with the duo moving away from fall’s tent silhouettes and into more fitted looks. The 18-piece lineup includes primarily dresses, but also duchesse satin pants and a little pair of houndstooth and eyelet shorts.
NILI: Monday, Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m., Metropolitan Pavilion Style 360, 110 West 19th Street
Pedigree: Like Alber Elbaz before her, Nili Lotan attended Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, studying fashion and textile design. She then moved to the U.S., where she went on to work at Adrienne Vittadini, Liz Claiborne’s Liz & Co., Ralph Lauren and Nautica, beginning her namesake line in 2003.
Stats: The clothes wholesale from $99 to $350 and are sold at Scoop, Barneys and Henri Bendel, as well as at Lotan’s own TriBeCa store.
Spring forecast: Lotan is not one to shy away from controversial imagery: Her spring collection featured sweet dresses emblazoned with a repeating machine-gun print. This time, she has screened a black-and-white photo of a Sixties antiwar protest onto a silk maxidress. Also look for kaffiyeh prints and traditional Bedouin embroideries.
GHITA: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m., Metropolitan Pavilion Style 360, 110 West 19th Street
Pedigree: Designer Alexis Phifer studied fashion design at FIDM and started her line in 2005.
Stats: Ghita’s dresses, which wholesale from $200 to 400, are sold at Intermix, Henri Bendel and Fred Segal.
Spring forecast: A dress parade. With the exception of a romper, all 25 looks are what Phifer calls “party dresses, like something you’d want to go out on the town in.” The frocks feature Eighties-inspired colorblocking in neon combinations, and are crafted from georgette and silk jersey. Oh, and the soundtrack should be stellar — Phifer’s fiancé is Kanye West.
NAOKI TAKIZAWA: Tuesday, Sept. 11, Noon, The Salon, Bryant Park
Pedigree: After 26 years at Issey Miyake, most recently in the role of head designer, Takizawa is a free man, and he is making clothes that fuse traditional Japanese techniques with the latest technology.
Stats: The clothes, which wholesale from $80 to $400 for tops and $300 to $1,100 for dresses, are sold at Neiman Marcus and at Issey Miyake’s TriBeCa store.
Spring forecast: Old-world Kyoto tailoring meets slick new-school techniques in this 45-look collection. A polyester and silk raincoat, for instance, is hand-embroidered, then treated with a high-tech waterproofing material. “I’m trying to mix both elements,” Takizawa explains.
FARAH ANGSANA COUTURE: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m., Metropolitan Pavilion Style 360, 110 West 19th Street
Pedigree: A native of Sumatra and a graduate of the London College of Fashion, Angsana launched her line in 1999.
Stats: In the past, Angsana’s clothes have been sold exclusively to Harrods, but she hopes to line up U.S. accounts for spring. The collection will wholesale from around $850 for a cocktail dress to $2,500 for an evening gown.
Spring forecast: “India has been the subject recently [for me],” the designer says of her 30-look collection. However, she adds, the overall look is subtle. “I am not really interested in Bollywood.”
STEINUNN: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 5 to 8 p.m., Eve Studio, 410 West 14th Street, 2nd floor
Pedigree: Steinunn Sigurd left her native Reykjavik, Iceland, to attend Parsons School of Design in 1982. She later traversed the globe working at Carmelo Pomodoro, Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Gucci and the ready-to-wear division of La Perla. She started her own line in 2001.
Stats: Sigurd’s designs are sold at her own store in Reykjavik, and her fall collection was picked up by Takashimaya in New York. Wholesale prices start at $100 for a basic knit top and go up to $500 for a printed chiffon dress.
Spring forecast: “Texture is kind of my forte,” says the designer. Accordingly, the 17-look collection features pleating and gathering aplenty. Expect witty, sexy looks like a knitted bikini topped with a chunky cardigan.
JUSTSWEET: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 9 p.m., Eyebeam, 540 West 21st Street
Pedigree: Jennifer Lopez is the name behind this juniors line, now in its second season, but it’s Sophie Na who designs it. Na studied at Parsons before moving on to positions at Donna Karan and Nautica, in the women’s clothing division.
Stats: The collection, which wholesales from $42 for knit tops to $89 for denim, is sold at Macy’s, Woodley & Bunny in Brooklyn, Akira in Chicago and Kaleidoscope Boutique in Decatur, Ga.
Spring forecast: Highlights of the 40-look collection include a puff-sleeved leather biker jacket and a stone-decorated minidress with a foil band at the hem.