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 his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye