PARIS — Yoga pants and joggers are just a couple of the hip bottom categories edging in on denim territory in recent years. Now Mikael Söderlindh is throwing his hat into the ring with his latest mono-product concept The Cords & Co., billed as the world’s first premium corduroy fashion brand.The Swedish entrepreneur, who in January sold his colorful Happy Socks business to Palamon Capital Partners for $81.2 million, has big ambitions for The Cords & Co., which today marks its international launch with the opening of a global online store and two physical stores in Stockholm, where the brand's design studio is based. “We will be the alternative to denim….Denim has gone on and on, and the market is looking for an alternative," he said.A week later, on Aug. 31, flagships are set to open on L.A.’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard, as well as in key locations in the Marais and Soho districts in Paris and London, followed by a store in New York’s SoHo district on September 7. The brand is also working with a selection of retail partners in 20 international markets, including Galeries Lafayette, Bergdorf Goodman and Anthropologie.For Söderlindh, the brand’s founder and majority owner, specialization in fashion is “going to be the future.”“If I want to go and buy meat, I’m going to the best meat store in the town, I don’t want to go to a convenience store that has everything.” In terms of potential, “We see this being a considerable business very quick,” he added in an interview during the run-up to the launch.Offering separate men’s and women’s lines focused solely on corduroy, including crossover garments, the collection, explained chief executive officer Omar Varts, is built around the iconic five-pocket pant, going from traditional extensions above the waist like jackets to more experimental applications like spins on jersey silhouettes, including a corduroy hoodie. Examples include a corduroy version of the classic M65 fishtail parka, leopard and camouflage print corduroy in different washes and indigo corduroy with a five-pocket denim-like fit. The brand has been working with a boutique mill in Japan to develop exclusive indigo corduroy and velvet fabrics that will be introduced later this year.Women’s styles include dungarees, kick flares and the ubiquitous skinny and boyfriend fits. Headed by multidisciplinary designer Linnéa Bach Gärde, who also has experience in interiors, the design studio has been experimenting with applications, printing, embroidery and wale widths, “exploring the versatility and durability of the fabrication, and the origins of the fabric and the weaving process which date back to [ancient Egypt].”Originally a royal cloth, corduroy was later adopted for workwear due to its durability, explained Varts, adding that the team has been researching corduroy’s cultural timeline across the last century, looking at associations in art and music, and players from certain key moments of history who wore cords.“There are a lot of reference points for the fabric itself both in and outside of the industry. The first Ford Model T was introduced with a corduroy interior so there are multiple applications we can explore," added Varts. "The engagements we are already making for long-term exploration of the creative process is certainly outside of the fashion industry. We’re working already with a great group of artists and musicians, we’re starting to talk to people from the textiles and furniture domains. This idea has infinite potential to explore.”Hook-ups will be part of the brand’s DNA, according to Söderlindh, with collaborations with brands including Alpha Industries, Eastpak and DJ Harvey in the works. “We like the idea of cross-pollination. If you compare a brand to an individual, an individual who is likable is going to meet a lot of different people, they’re going to be sociable and outgoing and our brand plays around with a lot of different brands," he said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast