The name Sasson was synonymous with designer-jean chic in the Seventies and better casual in the Eighties, but 2014 could be its year for a new categorical association: advanced contemporary sportswear. Elle Sasson, the 25-year-old daughter of Sasson Jeans and Kikit creator Maurice Sasson, is charting new territory with her own label. Launched as a capsule collection for spring, fall marks her first full lineup, comprising dresses, tops, bottoms and outerwear.
Going into design was a foregone conclusion for the younger Sasson, who was born in New York City and moved with her family to Hong Kong at age five. Raised between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, Sasson studied fashion design in the two cities and then interned for Alice + Olivia and Derek Lam in New York.
“I always knew I wanted to be a designer, but I didn’t think I’d start my own brand so quickly. I had planned to work for another company first,” said Sasson, who is now based in Hong Kong. But with easy access to Chinese fabrics and factories, she created her first collection, inspired by Ed Ruscha’s art book “A Few Palm Trees,” in less than a month and sold it to Bergdorf Goodman, followed by Neiman Marcus, Intermix and Shopbop. “Hong Kong is a very comfortable place to work because everything is within close reach,” she added.
Her fall collection was inspired by a photograph of an iceberg in Iceland, from which she created a print for her starting point. She worked it into both red and blue palettes on minimal and Mod-inspired silhouettes. From there, the singer Björk became her muse. “I love her ethnic, fun and cute style,” said Sasson. Thus she worked a penguin print and traditional Icelandic-style embroidery on poplin and sateen dresses and wool sweaters, and also featured several mohair and alpaca jackets. Wholesale prices range from $102 for a simple top to $1,120 for an embroidered dress. In addition to her U.S. doors, the line sells in Boon the Shop in South Korea, AlOthman in Kuwait and Stylebop in Germany.
Sasson herself says she prefers to wear casual black clothes with flat shoes, so her collection is aspirational: “In a way, I design clothes for the woman I’d like to be, with pieces that someone can wear every day.” She chooses to sketch alone behind closed doors and with music playing, but when she’s finished, she looks to her father for advice. “He sees stuff that I don’t really notice,” Sasson said. “He might suggest a top stitch instead of a clean finish, that I fold a hem wider to give the dress a different fall, that I make the waistband an inch wider or that I change the size of the zipper teeth to raise the quality of a jacket.” The elder Sasson, who these days travels to China frequently for consulting work, is also backing his daughter’s company.
Armed with feedback from both her father and retailers, Sasson has plans to add more knits for her next collection, for resort. Needless to say, denim is also on the docket.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion