Designer Narciso Rodriguez made headlines this month when Liz Claiborne Inc. bought a 50 percent stake in his name and trademarks. The $12 million deal marked Claiborne’s maiden voyage into the luxury market, and countless industry watchers were surprised to learn that the highly regarded designer had been struggling financially. Claiborne, a $4.99 billion apparel giant, rated the sales potential of the brand at about $100 million, 10 times its current volume, once it branches into all available channels and categories, particularly shoes, accessories and, oh yes, men’s wear. The men’s rollout will be preceded by the July launch of Narciso Rodriguez For Him, the designer’s debut signature men’s fragrance.
DNR: Congratulations. It must be a relief to have this kind of backing.
Narciso Rodriguez: It is. For so many years I’ve been speaking to different investors—some of them evil, some phony, some waving a great deal of money but having no knowledge. Many people offered great opportunities, but a financial backer wasn’t just what we needed. We needed someone with the strengths to implement all the things we needed to grow. We needed someone with know-how. In February you said you’d develop a full men’s collection if you had the right partner.
NR: It is happening. I’m very excited about this partnership because I loved introducing men’s two years ago. I started it out of love of the craft and wanting to express myself in a different way. I really enjoy it. And now, to be able to grow that into a bigger business is unbelievable. Do you enjoy designing for men as much as for women?
NR: I do. I design both collections simultaneously. The techniques are very similar and I’ve heard very positive things. They say, “It makes sense. That’s the perfect counterpart to your woman.” I’ve just begun, really, and I put together a very small collection every season. The response after four seasons has been wonderful. I’m looking forward to growing that into a bigger and more experimental collection. I love doing knitwear and I’m ready to do it for men in a bigger way. And tailoring. I’m excited to experiment in both those ways.
How soon could it be fully formed?
NR: I don’t think it will be [overnight]. I want to grow it slowly and properly. I could see it double in size easily, but it still would be small.
Would you consider showing men’s and women’s separately?
NR: Yes, I think it would be great. When I launched men’s wear I wanted it to be shown with women’s. But as it grows it would be great to separate them. The impact for both could be strong.
Your fall men’s wear went in some new directions—more generous proportions, more knits, even prints. Why were you feeling so adventurous?
NR: It’s in its infancy. It isn’t a huge collection, so I can create whatever I want. It’s very simple. I just do what I feel. I wanted the statement for the first seasons to be about the tailoring. After three seasons I wanted to keep the tailoring, edit it, and introduce some new ideas—knitwear, signature pieces, things that I do with women but interpreted for men. That’s why I started to look at it in a different way. I want to keep experimenting but have roots in tailoring.
Can you tell us anything about your spring collection yet?
NR: Gee, I love that question in May. How about this? I’m being inspired by the support and the capabilities that all of a sudden opened up to me. I’m in a very good mood.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)