AMSALE HIRES: Kenneth Pool has been named creative design director at New York bridal and evening resource Amsale, effective next week.
This story first appeared in the November 12, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In the new role at the company, Pool will work with Amsale to launch a new line titled Kenneth Pool for Amsale, which will offer more fashion-forward bridal looks beginning at $5,000 retail. Pool was most recently creative and design director at Reem Acra and also worked for Vera Wang for seven years.
“Developing a new glamour-oriented collection gives us the freedom to maintain the focus of the core Amsale signature collection on its classic designs, while simultaneously satisfying a broader customer base,” designer Amsale Aberra said.
Coming with Pool from Reem Acra is Ralph Francisco, who assumes the role of chief pattern maker for the new line. Francisco begins on Dec. 8.
Amsale will continue offering its signature line, which begins retailing at $2,500, as well as the Amsale blue label collection, which sells from $5,000. Pool will consult on Amsale’s designs, which also includes eveningwear, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride styles.
In addition, Peter W. Chan will start Monday as chief production and operations director. Chan was most recently vice president of production at Halston.
The company also created a new $1 million advertising campaign with creative direction headed by Deborah Moses of Moses Media. Shot by Ruven Afanador, who has also shot campaigns for Acra, the ads will run in 2003 issues of Martha Stewart Weddings, In Style Weddings, Town & Country, Bride’s, Elegant Bride and other publications.
DEAL’S DECADE: Ready-to-wear designer Donald Deal held his spring 2003 runway presentation Nov. 4 in his 37th Street showroom in New York. But Deal wasn’t just celebrating the sleek silk mikado pantsuits and flowing dresses that comprised his collection. He also feted his company’s anniversary, which he founded 10 years ago that same day. Prior to the show, guests — including editors, retailers, vendors and loyal customers — sipped wine, nibbled on hors d’oeuvres and mingled in a relaxed atmosphere quite different from a Bryant Park show.
Though Deal has not shown with 7th on Sixth since before Sept. 11, 2001, the designer said he would like to rejoin the fashion pack and plans to show his fall 2003 collection back at the tents. Deal said his company’s sales volume has held steady for a few seasons at about $1.2 million, but expects to see some growth in 2003.
NEW DIGS: Los Angeles-based showroom Gregg Pellegrini has opened a space at 241 West 37th Street in New York’s Fashion Center. The showroom carries six lines: Anopia eveningwear, wholesaling for $110 to $250; Daisy L., day-to-dinner dresses, $49 to $89; Dina Bar-El Dresses, eveningwear, $98 to $189; Dina Bar-El Sportswear, $49 to $118; NOW Pants, $39 to $64 and Paolo Santini, leather and fur sportswear, $79 to $215.
“The space could hold more lines, but we’re not actively soliciting,” Pellegrini said. “If something comes along, we’re always interested.”
Pellegrini said he had been coming to New York as often as once a month on appointments, and hauling garment bags around the city made him realize how much he needed a permanent space in Manhattan.
BRIDAL SUITE: New York bridal retail operation Bride 2 Choose has changed its name to The Bridal Suite of Manhattan. The name change was made by president and owner Bernadette Pleasant, who also remodeled and expanded the West 38th Street location in Manhattan. Gowns range in price from $1,000 to $6,000 and include lines such as Eugenia Couture, Rahmanian, L’ezu Atelier, St. Pucchi, Cristina Arzuaga, Belle of the Ball, Carmela Sutera, Currie Bonner and Paloma Blanca. There are also bridal accessories, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride offerings.
“Our new name was chosen to reflect the feel of our larger showroom, which is designed to enhance this important shopping experience,” said Pleasant, noting that the showroom is open to the public by appointment.
SPRING FLING: Goldin Feldman has introduced its first spring collection of furs, a decorative group consisting mostly of unconstructed, lightweight items. Now that the company is pursuing and selling to more nonfur specialty stores, president Anne Dee Goldin wanted to maintain real estate on a year-round basis instead of just seasonally.
Having designed women’s outerwear since 1980, Goldin said she wanted to use her expertise for lighter-weight fabrics and came up with several “chill chasers,” items that can be worn on brisk, but not frigid nights.
Vests, a halter top, perforated suede jackets, novelty leather jackets and an ivory-colored leather camisole are among the offerings in the 40-piece spring line. Wholesale prices start at $225 for a three-quarter-sleeve cropped suede topper and go up to $1,295 for a calf-hair knee-length coat.