MILAN — Retailers loved it, but editors aren’t quite smitten yet.
That was the immediate reaction after the debut Gucci collection by Alessandra Facchinetti, who succeeded Tom Ford as the company’s ready-to-wear designer.
“I could hear an audible sigh of relief in the first row,” said Robert Burke, senior vice president of fashion and public relations at Bergdorf Goodman. “It was a strong, focused collection. It showed newness, and a more feminine hand, but it still had the signature Gucci sex appeal and a modern sensibility.”
Others shared his enthusiasm.
“I thought she did a terrific job,” said Joseph Boitano, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s rtw at Saks Fifth Avenue. “She maintained the sexiness and youth of Gucci and at the same time she added a feminine, softer touch to the designs. The color sense was very sophisticated and I thought the draping of the dresses was really beautiful. You could feel the hand of a woman. And the accessories were fantastic.”
Joan Kaner, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, said Facchinetti kept the “Gucci spirit” alive. “It was hot and sexy,” she said. “There were certainly a lot of looks for ladies with good bodies. I would say she’s off to a good start.”
Jennifer Woo, president of Hong Kong-based Lane Crawford, said, “I thought it was beautiful. I saw a lot of Tom in it. It was a good effort. The accessories looked good.”
Fashion editors expressed more measured praise.
Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue, left immediately after the show to catch a plane for a family commitment. But she urged patience, as designers need time to adapt to new challenges. “She has to evolve and move herself away from Tom’s shadow,” Wintour said. “I think [this collection] will be a first step, but not the definitive statement.”
Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of In Style, said the collection honored the legacy of “sensuality and luxury” at Gucci — perhaps too much so. “There was a lot going on in those clothes, almost an overload of Gucci,” he said.Carine Roitfeld, editor in chief of French Vogue and a muse of Ford’s during his long Gucci reign, weighed her words carefully.
“There was definitely the spirit of the Gucci woman, and I think she is a Gucci woman herself and that is the force,” Roitfeld said. “It was smart not to make too big of a transition. I think she did a good job.”
Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure, said Facchinetti wisely carried forward Ford’s “Gucci language, which was a smart thing to do. She hasn’t fully identified her own signature, but that’s understandable.”
Wells drew an analogy to a restaurant, saying it’s not fair to judge it on the first day it opens. “This woman has big shoes to fill, and it’s too soon to fill them,” she said. “It’s still in formation.”
“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