LOS ANGELES — Erik Hart might be a fan of artist Robert Longo’s striking images of men in suits, but he’s clearly got a street-smart, budget-conscious shopper in mind for his new men’s diffusion line, MG Black Label.
In a loft overlooking this city’s gritty Toy District, the designer behind Morphine Generation and an eponymous contemporary brand flipped through the 50 pieces constituting the fall debut collection for MG Black Label.
Looks include a striped cotton poplin button-down with a matching skinny tie, a nylon bomber with multiple seams traversing the front and a four-pocket wool and polyester military jacket that secures at the neck with a tab closure. Hart also has knitted a cotton-viscose-acrylic yarn into a double-breasted cardigan in a graphite color evoking pencil scratches. The collection’s palette features subdued hues such as olive, charcoal gray and black with an occasional splash of turquoise plaid and inky blue. Wholesale prices run from $14 to $100, with jacket prices hovering under $50. The line will be shown at Project in Las Vegas next week.
“It’s taking classic men’s wear pieces and putting street utilitarian [details] in them,” said Hart, who produces his lines with partners Bob and Ramin Roofian through parent company M Collective Inc. “They’re everyday pieces you can transition from day to night. You want pieces to invest in that last and don’t break the bank.”
Given the economic slowdown, Hart has incorporated his emphasis on pragmatism and wearability into other recent business decisions. He lowered Morphine Generation’s wholesale prices by 20 percent to between $22 and $60 in an effort to boost sales, and stopped making men’s apparel under his namesake contemporary brand last holiday — partly to focus on the higher-end women’s market.
Unlike Morphine Generation, MG Black Label provides only tops and jackets, primarily of woven fabrics. Morphine Generation, on the other hand, is made up of mostly knits, such as art-centric screen prints on T-shirts.
“[MG Black Label is] also the greatest hits composed of my past collections worked into lower prices,” Hart said.
For instance, the fit of MG Black Label’s button-down shirts was derived from past proven sellers in Morphine Generation — updated in new colors and different patterns.
Hart projected MG Black Label will generate wholesale sales of about $2 million this year through department stores and specialty shops, while M Collective as a company should do about $8 million. With plans to offer a women’s component for MG Black Label next year, Hart expected MG Black Label could even eclipse Morphine Generation in size.
“If you can survive this [economic] time, you’ll end up with great market share,” Hart said. “All these things will help me with my market share.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)