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FLASHBACK: Stanley Schulman, president of Alixandre Furs, the maker of Isaac Mizrahi’s licensed fur collection, said the designer’s energy hasn’t waned over the years.
For the past 25 years, Mizrahi has worked informally with the company off and on, since he was a design assistant at Perry Ellis and later at Calvin Klein.
“I remember when Isaac worked for Perry Ellis. When they came to our showroom, Isaac would be jumping around and shouting, ‘We have to do this and this,’ and Perry would say to him, ’You see that chair? Go sit in that chair until we have to leave,’” Schulman said.
“Isaac hasn’t changed a bit. He is exactly as nice to his people as Perry was to his. He is a singular personality,” Schulman said.
He was equally enthusiastic about how shoppers have responded to the collection. This fall, fur outerwear, fur-trimmed ready-to-wear and accessories in the Isaac Mizrahi made-to-order collection are being sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman, and the reception has been “sensational,” Schulman said.
SEE YOU LATER: J. Mendel fans aren’t shying away from the $12,000 price tag on its alligator jacket with sable tails. The company has already sold 10 at trunk shows in Aspen, Los Angeles and New York. More are expected to be ordered at upcoming trunk shows in Hong Kong, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as another in Los Angeles, a J.Mendel spokeswoman said.
“Alligator is already so over-the-top luxury, and then you add sable,” she said, “It’s for the modern woman who can’t get over the luxury but wants to look cool at the same time.”
The Hong Kong trunk show, which is tentatively slated for sometime this fall, would be a first for the company. J. Mendel furs are currently not available in China, but the company is interested in tapping into that market, the spokeswoman said.
CALLING LABELLE: Fusha Designs, a label known for its fur coats and sexy dresses and separates, is already scouting talent for its 7th on Sixth runway show on Sept. 10 at Bryant Park. Designer Claudinette Fushard said she is trying to get Patti LaBelle to perform. Fushard and her husband, Wyclef Jean, will be celebrating their 10th anniversary, and the designer “wants that lovely voice” to fill the tent as her romantic dresses pass down the runway.
PACKING TRUNKS: Trunk shows will be an important part of Goldin Feldman’s fall strategy. The company has hired Brian Milsap as a consultant to oversee its 35 trunk shows, compared to 20 last year. Anne Dee Goldin, owner and chief executive officer, and Janet Cohen, who was promoted to president in May, will alternately host the events.
Fall orders are 25 percent ahead of last year, due mostly to last year’s launch of the Anne Dee Goldin fur and accessories collection, Goldin said. Stores that carried the collection last year have increased this year’s orders, and new accounts will be carrying it for the first time, she said. Jeffrey, Barneys New York and Janet Brown are some of the stores carrying the collection this year.
Fox stoles and collars in smoky jewel tones are fall bestsellers, Goldin said. There is also a lot of interest in customized pieces, especially among specialty stores. Interestingly, Goldin Feldman, which relocated to a showroom at 214 West 29th Street in New York this past spring, is building its business by focusing on stores that have not typically sold fur in the past.
“We sell to stores that have incredible reputations with their customers. They are stores where customers believe in them,” Goldin said. “Service is so important when you’re buying luxury items.”