NEW YORK — Instead of staging a typical trunk show, Dolce & Gabbana flew in some one-of-a-kind pieces and runway looks for fashion shows at its Madison Avenue and Los Angeles stores last month.
The unusual approach apparently worked, because the collection pulled in a combined $1.1 million in sales.
Women are more interested in learning about shapes and fabrics, said Gabriella Forte, the company’s U.S. president, noting that’s not something that always resonates while rifling through a trunk show. How else would attendees know the “piece of Pop Art was actually a fake Mongolian jacket with fur trim and a floral lining, and is ideal for anyone with a schizophrenic attitude toward art and fashion?”
Stefano Galli, worldwide fashion coordinator who flew in from Italy for the event, said, “What you’re seeing now is not falling apart. It’s the evolution of the bomber jacket,” referring to a leather number with sleeves and a hem that can be zipped off.
This type of special attention in the form of seated fashion shows is something Dolce & Gabbana plans to carry out in all its freestanding stores. Thus far, it has worked well to get women to make some “serious preorders,” Forte said.
“Usually at this time of year, we preview new arrivals. But this year, we felt we needed to do a more specialized atmosphere,” she said. “Many women are used to looking at clothes on a rack, and they don’t come to Italy for our show.”
And sometimes the ones who do are put off by the runway looks. “We wanted to show them the collection is very wearable and can be mixed and matched in many ways,” Forte said. “We’re always catering to the customer.”
As soon as the show closed, guests garnered special attention from sales associates who had been waiting in the wings. Even with that extra push, a few attendees left with only the goody bag from Dylan’s Candy Bar.
When one shopper’s interest was piqued by an outfit, a saleswoman said, “That’s coming. But you can’t have it now.”
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