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.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty