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.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“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