NEW YORK — After growing his day and evening dress line into a $20 million business, David Meister is launching a signature sportswear collection for fall.
It will be geared toward department stores that carry the dresses — such as Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue — as well as specialty stores across the country, and is expected to reach $4 million to $5 million in sales in its first season.
The 120-piece collection is comprised of skirts, pants, knit tops and outerwear. Throughout, there is attention to details, such as novelty top-stitching, closures such as metal snaps and wood buttons, as well as a focus on high-quality trims. Fabrics come primarily from Italy and the line also features cashmere knits and Italian leather used for the outerwear.
"Each piece needs to have a reason, each piece needs to be able to stand alone," said Meister in an interview at his West 39th Street showroom that will be expanded in the coming months to accommodate the sportswear. "Nobody needs another skinny cotton skirt."
In designing the sportswear, Meister said it was important to make sure it didn’t get too formal. Eveningwear designers that launch sportswear, he said, often make things too dressy. So, it was important to keep the true concept of sportswear in the back of his mind.
Wholesale price ranges will be around $89 to $120 for knits, jackets between $300 and $420, skirts from $90 to $110, pants at $110 to $140 and leathers from $250 to $425.
According to Meister, sportswear has always been a part of the picture since he launched the David Meister dress label for fall 1999. David Meister is a division of Kellwood’s ENC division.
"Even at the beginning we knew we wanted to do it," said Meister. "But it’s been the success of the dresses that really allowed us to do it."
Although the dress business is almost fully manufactured domestically in contracted factories, David Meister Sportswear will be produced primarily in the Far East, with knitwear and leathers manufactured in Italy along with some domestic production.
“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