NEW YORK — In her unexpected stroll down the runway at Fur Fashion 2003, Joan Rivers snapped, "The next time someone asks you why you’re wearing fur, you tell them it’s because these furs have gone places in death they never would...
NEW YORK — In her unexpected stroll down the runway at Fur Fashion 2003, Joan Rivers snapped, "The next time someone asks you why you’re wearing fur, you tell them it’s because these furs have gone places in death they never would have gone in life."
Granted, the comedian and red-carpet critic is not one for understatement, but she seemed to capture the buoyant attitude wrapping the fur industry these days. With solid sales this stormy winter, snow falling last week and plenty of fur on designer runways, furriers are feeling upbeat.
The variety of lightweight, relaxed jackets that dominated their annual fashion show last week at the Puck building flirted with the underlying merriment. Rivers, a former Blackgama model, wasn’t the only surprise performer at the show: Jennifer Holiday and Liz Callaway sang a few bars for the crowd of 300.
To try to be more in step with the fashion calendar, this year’s installment was held about six weeks earlier than in previous years. Several participants said they were energized by the number of sportswear and ready-to-wear designers who showed fur on their own runways, even though they don’t produce fur lines.
Cynthia Rowley, Royal Chie, David Goodman and Eric Gaskins were among the 20 designers in Fur Fashion. The North American Fur Association, America Legend and Saga Furs of Scandinavia were the event’s major sponsors. The show was organized by the Fur Information Council of America.
Alexis & Gianni Furs got on board as a participant "to show its line to stores and the media," said John Petras, president. The Westbury, N.Y.-based retailer is launching a wholesale division and expects it to generate nearly $1 million in sales.
After the show, Edwin Schulman, president of Alexandre Furs, which makes Oscar de la Renta’s fur collection, said, "I thought it was wonderful." His son, Larry, the company’s vice president, added, "It was an incredible representation of what’s being done in the industry, from clean, modern and classic to young, fun, interesting looks. The most important part is to show that New York is the place for fur fashion."Miss New York, Tiffany Walker, wearing a Tendler Furs mink stole, said, "When it was minus 35 degrees in upstate New York, fur really kept me warm."
Dressed in a hooded zip-front fur jacket, actress Ann Gray, who helps her husband Edward Grafof Ben Kahn Furs with trunk shows, and the firm’s designer, Mary Jane Marcasiano, said they were encouraged by the abundance of lightweight, versatile looks on the runway. Graf said the interest in fur among younger women continues to increase, noting how eight of 12 friends she planned to meet for lunch last week called to be sure she would have photos of the new line.
Anne Dee Goldin, president of Goldin Feldman, said she was encouraged by the industry’s more spirited look.
"It seemed to me like they really had it together," Goldin said. "It is very difficult to pull together a trade show as a fashion show. From an editorial standpoint, it was far better timing having the show in April."
In addition to staging its annual show a month early, FICA announced Fur Market Month 2003, a series of showroom events that will be held May 28 through June 20.
Later in the week, Giuliana Teso presented its collection at its four-month-old SoHo showroom. Marco Teso, who designs Byte, the company’s more casual line, said stores are responding to a mink parka with fine raccoon cuffs and collar, and an unlined goat suede jacket, among other things.
He said fit is "the most important thing" in his designs. "We prefer to do something that fits and women will feel very comfortable in."
“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