NEW YORK — Seventh Avenue's designers and executives are hopeful that the new year brings more product launches, freestanding stores and business opportunities in far-flung markets such as China and Russia. Many seem to agree on one personal goal: to find more time for their friends and family amid the fashion frenzy. Here, some reflections on the year that's ending and wishes for the year to come.
Behnaz Sarafpour "Two thousand and five was great in terms of expanding the line to new markets. What's become interesting for us is the expansion outside of the U.S. We started working with more stores in Europe and Russia this year, and 2006 will be more about expanding in Asia.
"I am also hoping to have an accessories collection next year. I am working on a shoe collection. I attempted handbags for spring, but we had a production problem and we didn't end up going into production — that was unfortunate. We put that on the back burner but are going ahead with the shoes.
"Launching resort was the biggest highlight of the year. Since we started four-and-a-half years ago, we have had the capacity to only do two collections. The addition of this new delivery has been a great boost to our business financially."
Jeffry Aronsson, chief executive officer, Donna Karan International "DKI is on track to achieve profits against the background of its first reoccurring operating gains since the LVMH takeover in 2001. The stage is now set for vastly improved operating results driven in part by gains in our own retail [stores] and from an aggressive yet feasible drive into Asian markets with a coalition of blue-ribbon partners. We are achieving the conversion of a culture rooted in wholesale and ready-to-wear to a culture focused and aligned behind retail and accessories in addition to rtw.
"I hope to balance friends, family and career next year. A personal goal is to be more available, in a hands-on way, to students or those just starting out who could use an outsider's insight to their challenges — a little guidance or a boost."
Derek Lam "Two thousand and five has been an incredible year. A personal highlight was when I received the CFDA Perry Ellis award. The worst thing is that we have outgrown our space again and have to move ... into a 5,000-square-foot space at 601 West 26th Street in February.
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