NEW YORK -- Hanes Hosiery has taken on a touch of whimsy since joining forces with designer Eric Smith and his line of men's and women's casual socks and tights, called E.G. Smith.
In what the parties call a "partnership" venture that was announced early this year, Hanes is handling the production, marketing and distribution for Smith. This month, the first line under this arrangement was introduced.
The launch includes a new showroom for Smith, sited within the Hanes facilities at 1675 Broadway, at West 51st Street, and new packaging. The ceiling of the showroom is decorated with blue and white fabric swags to evoke sky and clouds, and fixtures -- as well as the new packaging -- feature the new logo, which says, "E. Magination."
The line, ranging in per-dozen price from $29.40 for opaque trouser socks to $91.80 for colorblock tights, includes a wider range of fabrications and, with 45 styles, is about four times larger than it was, according to Smith.
"The casual trend is not going away, and Hanes wants to be part of it," said Debbie Hobbs, vice president of Hanes. "We want to develop a larger casual business. If Eric Smith were a sheer designer, working with him would not have been as attractive."
Hobbs would not divulge volume projections. Smith has stated in the past that his annual volume ran around $5 million, including overseas business.
Highlights of the line include colorblock tights done in a heavy, sweater weight; tights giving the illusion of sheer and opaque stripes, and a mini-check pattern in tights and knee socks. The heavy boot socks and vibrant color palette that have been Smith's trademark are still staples in the collection.
"Working with Hanes has allowed me access to production facilities that allow the line to be both price competitive and different," said Smith. "Before, I couldn't make products such as basic opaques because the volumes weren't great enough for the large manufacturers. Now, I can address a basic fashion business and still retain the individuality that the brand is known for."
Distribution for the line will remain with better department and specialty stores, said Hobbs.
“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