No longer quite as lofty, designers have learned they can succeed among the masses by launching one-off collaborations or diffusion lines with more price-conscious chain stores.
And celebrities are sure to keep giving them a run: Witness the buzz surrounding Kate Moss' line for Topshop, Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten collection for Steve & Barry's, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's launch of The Row and Kylie Minogue's and Madonna's collections for Hennes & Mauritz this year. Roberto Cavalli is the latest designer to team up with the Swedish-based fast-fashion chain. The 40-plus piece collection will launch Nov. 8 in about 200 H&M locations around the world, following the lead of Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor & Rolf and Stella McCartney, who each had winning runs at H&M.
Nils Vinge, H&M's head of investor relations, said celebrity lines from Minogue and Madonna had a "meaningful impact" on sales and were equally valuable for driving traffic into the stores and drawing media attention.
Cavalli's collection for H&M will consist of 25 apparel and lingerie pieces for women and another 20 items for men, and accessories. The line will feature higher-quality materials than those traditionally used in H&M clothing, including cashmere and 100 percent wool. Prices have not yet been revealed, but H&M representatives said the most expensive pieces would be around 200 euros, or about $265 at current exchange rates.
During last month's announcement of the one-off collaboration, Cavalli said, "Young people come up to me with these big eyes full of desire to wear a Cavalli dress and often they can't because of the price. I dedicate this collection with Hennes & Mauritz to them, to give them the possibility to wear a Cavalli dress, whether it's for New Year's or another occasion and feel like they are on a red carpet."
In releasing second-quarter results last month, H&M executives noted how store openings and trendy designs by pop icons such as Madonna helped lift profits 31 percent to 5.13 billion Swedish kronor, or $742 million. Don't look for H&M to hit the brakes on these types of ventures anytime soon. Margareta van den Bosch, H&M's head of design, said, "I think people are crazy about this. I don't know how we could stop."Target's Go International campaign is also going strong with Erin Fetherston, who is ready to assume the role as guest designer this fall. She will follow in the footsteps of Patrick Robinson, Libertine's Johnson Hartig and Cindy Greene, and Alice Temperley. As they can attest, the collaboration means major exposure. That should sit well with Fetherston, a Berkeley, Calif.-born, Paris-based designer who has only been in the scene for two years.
Fetherston has put her high-profile friends to good use: Ellen von Unwerth shot a short film featuring Fetherston's creations on young women such as another of Fetherston's chums, Kirsten Dunst. The Target-backed dresses, suits and coats are said to be hitting stores in November.
Simply Vera Vera Wang, Vera Wang's affordably priced collection exclusively for Kohl's, is another label that is ready for a fall launch. Apparel designs will range in price from $34 for a silk-blend T-shirt to $138 for a brocade car coat. There will also be footwear, accessories and jewelry. Kohl's is banking on the designer's collection to update its image and to boost the bottom line.
These types of publicity-generating deals could also pay off in other ways for designers such as Wang and Cavalli. Both are privately owned companies and have had their share of interested suitors. This fall they may hear their names being mentioned even more frequently by the financial community and potential investors.
A room full of toiles at the haute couture atelier in the Dior exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, open in Paris since July 5. This is just one of three major exhibitions that have been timed to coincide with the house's 70th anniversary. See the rest of the exhibits, plus read WWD's look into the iconic brand's history. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
For spring, Pamplemousse's Danica Zheng presented her signature slip dresses attached to a white T-shirt along with floral windbreakers, off-the-shoulder cotton blouses and more. For more highlights from the New York trade shows, go to WWD.com. #wwdfashion
The Green Carpet Fashion Awards closed out Milan Fashion Week yesterday. The fashion industry flocked to the event, showing its efforts to support and spread the message of sustainability. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen said "if each one of us took at least one step is this direction, there is no saying how much could be done." #wwdeye #wwdfashion #mfw (📷: Lodovico Colli di Felizzano)
Etro’s show, titled “The Tree of Life,” was a celebration of the house’s 50th anniversary. “My father founded the company in 1968, which was the year of counterculture and psychedelia. It’s really a show that celebrates that and the paisley design of India and its origin,” said Veronica Etro. #wwdfashion #mfw #ss18 (📷: @delphineachard)
For @msgm’s spring 2018 show, creative director @massimogiorgetti said “Words, sounds, colors. Synthesis and therapy of a collection,” were the inspirations behind the collection, showing today. Read the rest of Milan spring 2018 inspirations on WWD.com. #mfw #wwdfashion #ss18
For her first solo album in over 10 years, Fergie tapped Carine Roitfeld, Mert and Marcus, Giovanni Bianco and more to create a fashion-focused video approach for the record, Double Dutchess. "Giovanni really helped me get back in touch with my tomboy side, my hardside," said the singer. #wwdeye #wwdfashion ( : @slovekinpics)