The American fashion brand is blitzing the Continent with a retail rollout of its jewelry line that launched this spring with licensing partner Sequel AG, the Swiss firm that produces Guess timepieces, as well.
Guess also inaugurated its first in-shop boutiques this month at the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores here. By the end of the year, Sequel hopes Guess jewelry will be sold in 1,000 doors across France, as well as "thousands" more doors across Europe, mostly in Spain, Italy, the U.K., Switzerland and Germany, said Eric Russack, Sequel's vice president of jewelry.
"We're going very aggressively in Europe," said Russack, who noted that Guess would be present in 18 Printemps and 63 Galeries Lafayette units in France by yearend.
In the U.K., Russack said Guess' main retail partners would be House of Fraser and Debenhams. In Spain and Italy, he said Guess jewelry would be distributed more in independent jewelry retailers because of the way in which the market is structured. The line also will be stocked in Guess' signature stores, which include nine units in France and a total of 116 in Europe. The company also runs 15 factory outlet stores in Europe.
Russack declined to give sales projections for Guess jewelry, which is concurrently launching in Asia and the Middle East. Sources estimated that the business, which excludes the Americas, could grow into an annual $100 million venture.
"The momentum for the brand around the world is incredible," Russack said. "The strategy for the jewelry is a combined effort of department store and distribution in independent retailers."
Guess jewelry is arriving in Europe as branded jewelry in general continues to build momentum, with brands such as Dolce & Gabbana resonating with a young clientele. It also comes as Guess ramps up its accessories profile in Europe. The brand opened its first shoe store here this year as it moves to boost that business in Europe.
Prices for Guess jewelry range from 30 euros, or about $41 at current exchange, for a pair of earrings to 150 euros, or $206, for an elaborate necklace. A Guess Collection range, which uses sterling silver and semiprecious stones and is positioned to be more upscale, is priced from 75 euros, or $103, for earrings to about 500 euros, or $687, for a complicated necklace.Sequel has experienced great success with its license for Guess watches, which are stocked in 20,000 retail outlets around the world.
"Growth has been double digit for the watches,'' Russack said. "We believe that, in time, the jewelry business can be as big as the watches."
“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