ATLANTA — Fashion Cares, a benefit for AIDS and breast cancer charities launched 12 years ago, has grown from a small affair to become Atlanta’s official fall fashion kickoff.
The event, presented by the ultrachic retailer Jeffrey Kalinsky, a hometown favorite, attracted more than 500 guests to the Woodruff Arts Center on Monday night who paid as much as $500 a ticket. They were dressed in colors worthy of Baskin Robbins, including bold Pucci prints and pointy designer shoes — and that was just the men. The women were even more expressive, wearing chiffon tunic tops, head wraps, jeans and stiletto boots as well as beaded gowns.
Kalinsky, 42, grew up in Charleston, S.C., but got his retail start in Atlanta 14 years ago, launching his Jeffrey boutique, along with a Bob Ellis designer shoe store and a Jil Sander unit in Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza. He also owns Jeffrey New York on West 14th Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Both stores cultivate ultrachic customers with head-to-toe women’s and men’s designer merchandise.
At a preshow reception, Kalinsky, dressed in a brilliant pink turtleneck and jeans, said he was thrilled with business this year, citing a 20 percent boost in sales, and record profits. He downplayed speculation that his stores are for sale.
“I’m very happy with the status quo and my business,” Kalinsky said. Minutes later, he added, “At the end of the day, everything is for sale.”
Gilbert W. Harrison, chairman of Financo, a New York investment bank specializing in apparel retail, said on Tuesday that two years ago, Kalinsky asked him to seek out offers from prospective buyers. With no active offers, he said the search is on hold.
“Jeffrey is one of the best merchants, with a great format and package,” Harrison said. “His business has tremendous expansion potential. But he needs the right partner.”
Kalinsky said Monday night that he had no expansion plans alone, but would talk to anyone about opportunities. “After 14 years in business, I don’t want to work any harder than I am now,” he said.The luxury business is vibrant this year, as consumers have responded to designer offerings, especially from bestsellers Jil Sander, Pucci, Marni and Gucci, Kalinsky said.
If audience enthusiasm was any gauge at the show, Kalinsky is right. A two-hour open-bar reception, along with a silent and live auction, worked the crowd to a fever pitch by the time the first model hit the runway. Guests rose to their feet, hooting and hollering for looks they liked, such as dramatic evening gowns and fantasy shoes.
In a front-row seat, Brigette Paraham of Atlanta is a luxury consumer who also loves a bargain. She shops Jeffrey more for unique shoes and clothes than big-name designers. While tempted by much of what she saw on the runway, she confessed that she bought her green three-piece pantsuit by Louis Féraud at T.J. Maxx for $300.
The event raised more than $250,000, compared with $205,000 last year. Designers stepped up to the plate, with $10,000 contributions from Jil Sander and Gucci and $5,000 from Dolce & Gabbana.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)