Indie designers, premium denim and contemporary sportswear are the focus at the Project and Capsule shows in New York next week, with the former staged from Sunday to Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the latter on Monday and Tuesday at the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center. While the economy has thinned out the exhibitor list somewhat, you can still expect about 350 brands at Project and 70 at Capsule. Here, highlights of some of the newest and most compelling lines at the two shows. PROJECT NEW YORK
Aether Jonah Smith and Palmer West are successful L.A. film producers, having brought to the screen fare such as “Religulous,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “A Scanner Darkly” and “The Clearing.” But the avid outdoorsmen decided to launch their own activewear brand, called Aether, last year when they couldn’t find performance apparel that blended stylishly into urban environments.
“We’re weekend warriors and we felt there weren’t any brands out there that spoke specifically to us,” said Smith. “We wanted to use technical advancements for clothes that strike a balance between form and function, for a guy slightly north of 25 years old.”
The result is a collection launching to consumers on an e-commerce site on Feb. 1, and first wholesaled to retailers at Project. The lineup includes seam-sealed jackets suitable or snowboarding, casual hoodies and polos, and a waxed canvas jacket insulated with Primaloft that will retail for $1,095, the top price point in the collection. “It’s a super-lightweight puffer jacket that doesn’t make you look like you’re on a lift line,” noted West.
Unruly Heir Incorporating its signature rebellious wit into its designs, youthful New York brand Unruly Heir is taking the recession head-on with the spring collection it will showcase for immediate orders at Project. T-shirts are adorned with prints like a bull and bear holding onto the Statue of Liberty for dear life as she sinks into New York harbor. A cap is stamped with a “Foreclosed” logo, while a polo shirt features a chest logo of a bull being speared and another T-shirt shows a gentleman playing polo while riding a messenger bike.
In another nod to the economy, prices for the collection have been brought down 30 percent, with Ts wholesaling for $16 to $19, polos for $35 and hoodies for $85. “We didn’t want to riff on the economy and then have exorbitant prices,” pointed out sales director David Rowan. Unruly Heir is currently sold at Bloomingdale’s, Fred Segal Fun, Kitson and Brooklyn’s Rime.
Rossignol + J.C. de Castelbajac French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and French skiwear firm Rossignol have collaborated on an outerwear collection for about five years, and that line will debut at Project New York for the first time this season. The collaboration melds Rossignol’s expertise in technical skiwear design and Castelbajac’s design vision, with the average jacket retailing for about $500.
For fall 2009 there are Lego-prints (via a partnership with the iconic Danish toy maker), shiny wet-look jackets, and gold and lurex threads woven into fabrics for a hyper-chic look. All the outerwear features technical elements ready for the slopes, like Lycra wrist cuffs, powder skirts, waterproof zippers, Gore-Tex fabrics and Thinsulate linings.
The Rossignol + J.C. de Castelbajac collection is currently sold in about 20 ski shops in the U.S., and the brand is aiming to enter more fashion retailers with its showing at Project, according to France Lessard, Rossignol’s marketing manager for soft goods in North America.
Current/Elliott Looking for the next hot name in denim? Current/Elliott may be the ticket. Founded by L.A.-based fashion stylists and longtime friends Emily Current and Meritt Elliott in July 2007, the brand is already stocked at trend-forward doors like Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Ron Herman, Atrium, Scoop and Colette in Paris. Helping things along is financial backer Serge Azria, who also owns the Joie contemporary brand and is the older brother of BCBG’s Max Azria.
While the new brand has caught on quickly, Current is quick to point out the company doesn’t intend to be a flash in the pan. “We aren’t trend-based at all,” she explained. Rather, Current/Elliott’s point of differentiation is its authentic vintage washes and ultrasoft fabrics, for both men and women.
“The whole philosophy is about comfort, so there’s a slouch element to all the fits and styles,” said Current. “We spent a long time getting our fabrics as soft as possible, there’s almost a fuzz to them.” Retail prices range from $178 to $350, with men’s product comprising about 20 percent of sales and women’s at 80 percent.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews