PARIS — John Galliano, as nimble with dungarees as couture gowns, is launching a second women's ready-to-wear line with Italy's IT Holding SpA.
This confirms a report in WWD Thursday and represents the latest brand extension for one of fashion's master showmen and most prolific designers. It is also a major development for IT Holding, which has been looking for new cash cows since last year, when it lost its lucrative contract for Dolce & Gabbana's D&G collection.
IT Holding, owner of Gianfranco Ferré and the licensee of lines such as Just Cavalli and Versace Jeans Couture, said the five-year Galliano license would start with the spring 2007 season. The first collection will be presented to the trade in June.
"I think this is a category with huge potential everywhere," said Sidney Toledano, president of John Galliano and chief executive officer of Christian Dior, estimating the line could generate wholesale volume in excess of 100 million euros, or $122 million at current exchange, in three to five years.
"John Galliano is able to do wonderful evening dresses, but at the same time, he's so good at streetwear," Toledano said.
The name of the collection was not disclosed, and price points have yet to be defined, but Toledano said they would be in line with other European diffusion collections and the clothes and accessories would target a young customer. Shop concepts and freestanding stores are also part of the long-range plan, he added.
IT Holding chairman and ceo Tonino Perna was not available for comment Thursday. In a statement, the company said, "The expertise and know-how in the production and distribution of ready-to-wear second lines of Ittierre [the 'young line' division of the IT Holding Group] and the creativity, inspiration and design of John Galliano are the guarantee to a successful cooperation."
Galliano was not available for comment on the new licensing pact, but Toledano said the designer toured IT Holding's facilities in Italy and was impressed with its production abilities and logistics.
Galliano has taken a measured approach to building his signature brand, famed for its bias-cut dresses and a lighthearted and romantic approach to fashion. He added eyewear and lingerie in 2001 and designer men's wear in 2003, the same year he opened his first freestanding boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré here. He shows his fall 2006 men's line tonight as men's fashion week kicks off here. Perna is expected to attend the show.IT Holding ascended to fame in the Nineties as a manufacturing power, pioneering the concept of diffusion lines such as Just Cavalli, D&G, Versus and Versace Jeans. It also bought a series of brands including Gianfranco Ferré, Malo and Romeo Gigli, which it later sold in 2004. Last July, Dolce & Gabbana announced plans to end its 12-year partnership with IT Holding and take the production of D&G in house. IT Holding's last D&G collection will be for this fall-winter 2006-2007 season. The license generates about 200 million euros, or $244 million, in sales a year, about 30 percent of IT Holding's revenue. Also last year, Versace ended its licensing pact for Versus, although Versace did offer IT Holding a deal for another diffusion line, Versace Sport.
These changes in IT Holding's license portfolio proved all the more significant since the company is still turning around an unprofitable Gianfranco Ferré. Meanwhile, IT Holding's attempt at creating an in-house brand, Exte, has earned lukewarm reviews.
Still, there appears to be plenty of buzz surrounding IT Holding. Earlier this week, Monaco-based jeweler Alberto Repossi said he bought 2 percent of the Italian firm in a bid to develop a Ferré jewelry line and launch a Repossi-branded sportswear collection. IT Holding has not yet issued a statement confirming those plans.
“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