Each new season brings a fresh wave of designer and house names that are Greek even to the best-informed retailer and editor. Here’s a guide to make the fall lineup easier to navigate.
By Meenal Mistry and Edmund J. Lee
LUXE & ROMANCE
Saturday, Feb. 6, 4 p.m.
Pedigree: Actress Lisa Raye, 38, stars on the UPN TV show “All of Us,” which is created and produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Her debut lingerie collection is geared toward Latinas and African-American women.
First time out? Yes.
Any sales? Not yet.
What to expect: Raye’s high-end lingerie will have a Twenties’ look that suggests Josephine Baker playing the Cotton Club. The designer also is expecting a big celebrity contingent, said to be chartering a plane to fly up for the show, taking a break from Super Bowl festivities in Jacksonville, Fla. In the crew: Usher, Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey and the Smiths, as well as a cadre of well-known athletes such as Mike Tyson and Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets.
Saturday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m.
Pedigree: Marketing exec-turned-designer Anne Bowen launched her semiprecious stone-encrusted ready-to-wear in 1995. At the peak of the business, her designs were worn by the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Kim Cattrall and the girls of Destiny’s Child. But the company grew a little too fast, and Bowen disbanded it in late 2003. She recently signed with new investors, the Betesh family, and is now back in the game.
First time out? No.
Any sales? Not at the moment. In the past, Bowen has sold to Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.
What to expect: Fifty suits and gowns. Bowen, however, got her new backers only about a month ago and whipped up a collection in just three weeks, so don’t expect things to be perfect, she warns.MIGUEL PENA
By appointment, Sunday, Feb. 6, 6-11 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Pedigree: Designer Miguel Pena, 27, and business partners Dan Otero and Frank Skoch, both 23, met at Parsons in 2000 and went into business together last May. The notably earnest trio always shows up for appointments in suits. Pena also did a five-month internship at Alexander McQueen.
First time out? Yes, but this is their second collection.
Any sales? No. But lots of interest has been sparked by Pena’s elegant designs and the evident business ambitions of his partners.
What to expect: Pena is building on the structured, ladylike shapes of his spring collection. Look for well-tailored jackets, dresses, skirts and pants, many in men’s wear fabrics.
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2 p.m.
Pedigree: Canadian-native Jay Godfrey, 25, worked at Salomon Smith Barney for 14 months; then he decided to go to Parsons, graduating in December 2003. Godfrey spent six months interning with Oscar de la Renta, whom he describes as “one of the greatest living designers.” The collection is financed by Jay’s father, Paul Godfrey, a former mayor of Toronto and chief executive officer of Sun Media who now owns the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.
First time out? In New York, yes. He showed his first collection, spring 2005, during Toronto Fashion Week.
Any sales? Not at retail yet.
What to expect: Thirty looks with an evening slant inspired by the dandyism of Beau Brummel. For more, see his Web site at jaygodfrey.com.
LOST ART BY JORDAN BETTEN
Sunday, Feb. 6, 1 p.m.
Pedigree: Former model Jordan Betten, 34, started making his one-of-a-kind leather pieces in 1996 when he couldn’t find a bag he liked to carry his portfolio. Since then, he has expanded the Lost Art collection to include pants, jackets, ponchos and jewelry crafted from leather tooled with bits of fur, horn, shells and other natural materials. Betten’s work was included in the Costume Institute show “WILD: Fashion Untamed.” He also regularly creates leather pieces for Anna Sui.First time out? First fashion show.
Any sales? Betten sells all his pieces through his private New York showroom, the Lost Art Studio.
What to expect: Twenty-two women’s and seven men’s looks with a theme of “Savage Couture.”
Sunday, Feb. 6, 9:30 p.m.
Pedigree: Levi Okunov, 19, was raised with 12 siblings in a strict Hasidic household. He briefly attended rabbinical school in Paris before returning to the States so his aunt, a Hasidic bridal designer, could teach him how to sew. Okunov also worked in Marc Jacobs’ store and production studio for seven months and took a patternmaking course at FIT.
First time out? It’s his second show.
Any sales? Two small accounts in Manhattan: Lola Y Maria and Lazaro Jewelry.
What to expect: Ten looks. Okunov says to watch for his see-through down coats.
Monday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m.
Pedigree: The eight-month-old Tallulah Showroom is presenting a slate of seven designers this season, most of them first-timers. Aimee G. designer Aimee Grubel, 32, grew up in rural Indiana and studied fashion and costume design at Purdue University for two years before transferring to FIT. Mel en Stel’s Ilse Eriksson, 42, who hails from Belgium, was a Gen Art finalist in 2003 and, as a result, caught the attention of “The Apprentice” producers looking for designers for one of its episodes. (“Because of the show, I got into Jeffrey’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bendel’s,” she says.) Epperson designer Rodney Epperson, 42, closed his SoHo store on Thompson Street last year, but says that his line is doing better now with Tallulah. Chyby Ryby (Slovak for “crazy fishes”) designer Katerina Petrikova, 30, came to New York from Slovakia to visit her sister and decided to stay and take classes at Parsons. Tatiana Lebedev emigrated to Paris from Moscow a decade ago to start her line. Destroyed’s Nathan Reimer, 21, plans to open a store on the Lower East Side this year, featuring his hand-dyed, hand-embroidered Ts, and Jon Berry Exodus Industrial designer Jon Berry, 44, is one of the few native New Yorkers showing this week.First time out? Yes, except for the Epperson and Jon Berry Exodus Industrial collections.
Any sales? All say that they sell at boutiques. Epperson and Jon Berry Exodus Industrial recently closed their stores and are concentrating on wholesaling.
What to expect: Everything from the casual, such as leather, denim and camo looks to the more casual, such as silk-screened Ts and patchwork skirts.
Monday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.
Pedigree: Malan Breton, 28, who has been acting in plays and musicals since he was seven, learned his craft from costume mistresses along the way. These days, his bread and butter comes from voice-over work, most notably for ESPN, which allowed him to launch his collection.
First time out? Yes.
Any sales? A few private clients, but he hopes to get into retail.
What to expect: “Eveningwear with a burlesque, Betty Page twist,” according to Breton.
Tuesday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m.
Pedigree: Designers Scott Stargardt, 31, and Christopher Trejo, 32, met at FIT and worked as accessories designers for several years before starting a women’s wear collection two seasons ago, which they christened with a riff on their first names.
First time out? Yes.
Any sales? The pair say they made $30,000 in sales last season to private clients on the Upper East Side.
What to expect: Eveningwear with a geisha theme. “We’re inspired by the whole concept that being a geisha is a dying art,” Stargardt says.
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1 p.m.
Pedigree: Before fashion, Julie Haas, 30, published and edited Spoon, a lifestyle magazine distributed by Time Inc. for four years before it folded. The University of Houston graduate then decided to make handbags and accessories before moving on to contemporary women’s wear three seasons ago.First time out? Yes.
Any sales? Shipped $300,000 worth of merchandise for spring 2005; the line is at the Cynthia O’Connor and Co. showroom.
What to expect: “We do a lot of handmade work,” Haas says. “We’re turning to the Fifties-Sixties way of making apparel, so it’s got a vintage flair, but with humor.”
Thursday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m.
Pedigree: Husband-and-wife team Nelson and Sisi Li started Iisli, a knitwear line, two years ago, drawing upon their varied design experience. Sisi had designed the men’s wear line F Homme in the Nineties, while Nelson worked on knitwear in Italy for 15 years. They are backed by Andrew Rosen.
First time out? Yes.
Any sales? For 2003, the first year of the collection, it had a wholesale volume of $2.5 million and, for 2004, $10 million. Iisli currently sells at major retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, the last being its biggest account.
What to expect: The knitwear collection is shaped to offer style while still being easy to wear. “We think if it’s comfortable, it looks good,” Nelson says.
Thursday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m.
Pedigree: Washington native Kai Milla started her line just three years ago after working as an art director for Echo Records. Milla currently lives outside L.A. with her husband, Stevie Wonder, and their son. “We’re taking it very slow,” she says of her fashion foray. “I’m not in a big rush. I want to go slowly and build up my audience.”
First time out? Yes.
Any sales? Thus far, just friends and celebrity clients, but she hopes to be picked up by retailers.
What to expect: Sportswear that’s “tailored and polished,” the designer says.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye