Now is the time for retailers to go the distance for their customers, and Bergdorf Goodman and Lanvin certainly went the extra mile Thursday night, turning what was essentially a trunk show into a grand Muhammad-and-the-mountain moment. As with any designer PA, the idea was to give clients a personal shopping experience. But rather than the usual in-store affair, Bergdorf brought in Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz to host a cocktail party and runway show at a private club housed in a stately white marble building on the northeast corner of 60th Street and Fifth Avenue, which, in a slightly Kubrickian twist, insisted up front that reporters not mention its name. An odd but not entirely inappropriate request; Lanvin is something of a fetish for the fashionable, after all.
This was a most proper occasion — jacket and tie required — held in a majestic room with soaring frescoed ceilings and ballroom chairs. “It feels very Parisian, doesn’t it?” said Elbaz, who was in town specifically for this event, his first of the sort with Bergdorf. “The idea was to have all of you in this beautiful room that is a little bit of Paris. But you open the window and the door and it’s New York. And it’s the best location because Bergdorf Goodman is just behind us.” With the intention of re-creating “the magic of a fashion show but in a more intimate way,” Elbaz plucked 38 runway looks, some styled with commercial pieces, as well as the rose-covered door frame from his Paris show.
If the familiar sight was redundant for the editors in attendance who saw the show in March, Elbaz didn’t mind. “It’s not for the journalists,” he said. “It’s for the clients.” The room was full of them — 100 clients and their guests — some of whom had traveled quite a way for the event. “Ruth, the personal shopper at Bergdorf, called to tell me about this,” said Nancy Gonzalez, who was in from Colombia to do double duty on Friday, when she hosted her own trunk show at Bergdorf and shopped Lanvin’s. And Elbaz did his best to make it worth Bergdorf’s best shoppers’ while, engaging them from the top of the runway with witty banter.
“We planned this event a year ago when the economy was booming. Remember that?” he queried before talking his audience through the clothes in an informative but humorous way. “All of this collection was cut on the bias,” Elbaz explained. “I ask my staff, ‘How does it feel when you wear it?’ and they say, ‘I feel that the coat is hugging me.’ I think that’s what we need in fashion.” It had the intimate ring of the presentations Elbaz holds for press and buyers during pre-collections. “It starts with fantastic, fabulous design,” said Bergdorf’s Linda Fargo. “But when you couple back with a designer who is able to connect with clients and sellers, it translates into a more dynamic and personal business. Alber brings the humanity to the business.”
While Bergdorf declined to disclose sales goals or results from the actual shopping event held in-store on Friday, it was obviously banking on Elbaz’s charming delivery. Among the best sellers were a black, stretch wool sheath with a shoulder puff, and a sleeveless stretch wool dress with a hip tuck, in beige and navy, both for $2,835. “It’s everything,” said Bergdorf president and chief executive officer Jim Gold when asked how such face time pays off. “It’s so important that people understand why these clothes are what they are, why they’re priced the way they are.” In other words, Lanvin’s not cheap, and now more than ever women need incentive to spend, a notion Elbaz acknowledged during his presentation. “Everyone is asking, ‘Do women need a 3,000 euro dress? Is it politically correct?’ ” Maybe not. But as Elbaz said, “The idea here is to bring back the pleasure of shopping.”
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
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye