Some designers create secondary lines to stretch their creativity, others do it to bolster their bottom lines. It’s probably a bit of both for Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, who are launching the contemporary C&T Costello Tagliapietra line for spring, but, mostly, the duo says, it’s about something else.
“This is almost like a love letter to all the women we worked with who couldn’t afford what equates to rent on a dress,” Tagliapietra says. “They would buy clothes that were a lot more affordable or wait until things were on sale. We can finally give women something they can just buy and not have to stress about.”
The line of 13 dresses, each retailing for $298, is the fruit of a licensing partnership with The Jones Group, which started about a year ago, when Council of Fashion Designers of America chief executive officer Steven Kolb introduced the designers to Richard Dickson, Jones’ president and chief executive officer of branded businesses.
“It’s always been a dream of ours to do something that was more accessible in terms of price point and had a broader reach,” Tagliapietra says.
Tagliapietra and Costello, the rugged, bearish-looking pair who tied the knot in a small civil ceremony last month, are best known for their draping skills and eye for color — elements they wanted to incorporate into their new venture. Thus, the easy, fluid dresses are draped and gathered — nine in rayon jersey and four in silk — and done in mostly muted hues such as a soft graphite, teal and peacock blue. “So many dresses we make are almost like palettes for jewelry or accessories,” Tagliapietra says. “It’s how we look at the older way of dressing, how women would pull their favorite heirloom necklace they cherished.”
Yet they didn’t want the collection to feel vintage. “There’s a timelessness without locking into any age group,” Costello notes, adding that they’re already thinking of additional categories for C&T, including jewelry and men’s wear. “And we’d love to add accessories to the mix, like shoes and bags,” he says. “We’d also like to add more sportswear aspects.”
For Jones, C&T is an addition to a growing portfolio of designer-name diffusion brands that already includes Rachel Rachel Roy and B Brian Atwood. “I have been a big admirer of their product for some time, and the idea of bringing their technique in dressmaking to a wider range of customers was an exciting proposition,” Dickson says. “We are slowly building a new crop of what we call ‘next generation big businesses.’ C&T fits perfectly into that strategy of growth for us. They are passionate about what they do, and they are a cultural fit with what we are building.”
“Just having them as personalities around the complex here infuses fun,” adds Dickson, who declined to disclose sales projections. C&T will initially launch exclusively at Barneys New York Co-Op in March, with further distribution aimed at upscale department and specialty stores after that.
For Costello and Tagliapietra, saying they hope their new dresses will become a woman’s favorite is an understatement. “There is no better compliment than somebody who wears something over and over again until it’s almost in tatters,” Tagliapietra says. “We love that. The thought of someone just sticking it in her closet is never our goal.”
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)