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.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)