Meden is a new women’s contemporary collection from four guys looking for a fashion project. Three of the line’s partners hail from the professional sports world: Derek Roy plays hockey for the St. Louis Blues; Mike Napoli is an infielder for the Boston Red Sox, and ceo Michael Dombkiewicz played minor league hockey for four years before moving into finance at Merrill Lynch. Then there’s Meden’s creative director Walter Lee to bring a fashion background to the table. He studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and worked for lines including Monarchy and Rogue before getting involved in Meden.
How three jocks and one designer came together for a fashion start-up is less improbable than it seems. Dombkiewicz and Roy originally met playing junior hockey on opposing teams in Canada when they were 20 and 15, respectively. They reconnected years later in Dombkiewicz’s hometown of Buffalo when Roy was drafted by the Sabres, formed a friendship and discovered a mutual love of fashion, which became a business prospect last year when Dombkiewicz, who was living in Los Angeles, met a few industry people, including Lee.
“Derek came into town to play the L.A. Kings, and I introduced him to some people working in fashion and an idea was born,” said Dombkiewicz.
Roy, in turn, brought on Napoli, another athlete with an interest in clothes, whom he had met in Dallas when Roy played for the Stars and Napoli for the Texas Rangers.
With Roy and Napoli currently in season with the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball — and thus unavailable for comment — Lee and Dombkiewicz are handling daily operations, including the collection’s capsule launch Tuesday. According to their press kit, Meden is “derived from the Middle English phrase ‘to reward one’s self,’” and was so chosen in reference to the founders’ modest upbringings, hard work and financial success — Roy and Napoli are more than silent investors in the collection. “Once they retire from their professional athletic teams, they want to focus on Meden, “ said Dombkiewicz.
Aesthetically, the collection adheres to a masculine-feminine duality, contrasting spare tailoring and sporty effects with soft draping, knits and strict yet feminine dresses. “I’m always interested in those opposites,” said Lee during a preview. “I wanted to play with textures, like cashmere and printed wool that’s a little rough.” An oversize black alpaca bomber is paired with a matching black pencil skirt, for example, and a neatly tailored gray coat has navy paneling.
Fabrics are sourced in Italy and the collection is produced in New York, which puts it at an advanced contemporary price point. Wholesale prices range from $395 for a skirt up to $895 for a coat, although Lee noted that he and his partners will focus on selling the first season through the label’s own e-commerce on meden.com before pursuing a wholesale strategy. A men’s collection is also in the plan, if not in the near term. Asked why it wasn’t the first order of business from four fashion-loving men, Dombkiewicz said, “Collectively, we felt strongly about being known as a women’s label.” Ladies first.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)