NEW YORK — Nicole Miller is the latest designer headed to better sportswear.
Lured by consumers’ desire for stylish, designer-inspired sportswear that doesn’t break the bank, Nicole Miller will launch a more affordably priced line for spring. It will be shown for the first time at its own fashion show during fashion week in September. The name of the line will be announced next month. The show venue is being finalized, but will not be in the main Bryant Park locations.
“It’s going to stand on its own and be a real collection,” Bud Konheim, president and chief executive officer of Nicole Miller, said Wednesday. “Sportswear has become more design-oriented and fast-changing, and we’re just following our nose.”
With prices retailing in the $100 to $200 range, the line will feature tops, pants and items that are versatile. Items for spring will include a French terry and silk zip-up jacket and miniskirt, with a rose print, rayon and spandex V-neck T-shirt.
Konheim said the better-priced line will bow in the company’s chain of 31 signature stores, as well as independent specialty accounts for a few seasons, before breaking into department stores. He said the business should do between $4 million to $5 million the first year.
“In America, there’s no escaping that first-class travel now is sweatshirts and casualwear,” Konheim said. “It sets a trend for what Americans want: casual, comfortable design. Before, [sportswear] was dominated by jeans and it was essentially a price and hype deal. Today, people are looking for differentiation beyond jeans and that’s what the fashion industry is all about.”
Miller’s move comes at a time when several designers have recently expressed interest in the better arena — namely Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta. Kellwood is also pursuing that market with Calvin Klein. The area is now dominated by big American sportswear companies like Jones New York, Liz Claiborne, AK Anne Klein, City DKNY and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.
Konheim said the bottom line is that there’s no room anymore for basic, homogenized clothing — at any price — in a world where consumers are savvier than ever and expect design and great style wherever they shop.“Prestige today is doing a lot of business,” he said. “That’s what prestige has become. It’s not dressing the Princess of Brunei. It’s doing a lot of business and people who are respected are people who are able to capture a wide audience.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast