NEW YORK — Edging past his previous record, Oscar de la Renta pulled in $2.4 million worth of fall orders at a trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman this month. Last year’s fall collection generated $2.25 million.
This story first appeared in the May 28, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The trunk show took place May 5-9, with an additional two days last Wednesday and Thursday. Bestsellers included a black leather motorcycle jacket with studded embroidery and rabbit-fur trim for $4,800; a long, embroidered suede, camel-colored coat with rabbit-fur trim for $9,500; a red brocade cocktail dress for $3,800, and jeweled cashmere sweaters — turquoise was the most popular color — for $1,800 apiece.
“We always do really well at Bergdorf Goodman,” said de la Renta. “It is a great store with an affluent customer. [Bergdorf’s chairman and chief executive officer] Ron Frasch has been a wonderful friend and we’ve been able to build a great business together.”
With the item-driven bestseller list — the motorcycle jacket and bejeweled sweaters, for example — de la Renta has crafted his collection with options for three types of women: the daughter, the mother and the grandmother.
Robert Burke, vice president and senior fashion director at BG, said de la Renta knows how to take separates and make them essential items for his customer’s wardrobe, while maintaining his suit and evening business. What gives de la Renta the ability to successfully design this way is that he lives the same lifestyle as his customers, Burke asserted.
“Oscar oftentimes anticipates the needs of customers even before they do and designs accordingly,” said Burke. “What more can a customer ask for than a designer who understands her needs? Whether Oscar does a motorcycle jacket, sweater or fur-trimmed coat, they become essential fashion items.”
In addition to the two extra trunk show days last week, de la Renta was on the go, staging a fashion show at the 2003 Continuum Breast Service Luncheon at the Pierre Hotel last Wednesday. The event helped to benefit the Comprehensive Breast Programs of Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals of Continuum Cancer Centers of New York.
Earlier in the week, de la Renta played host to a bevy of fashion industry types, society members and top New York interior designers — including Mario Buatta, John Rosselli, Bunny Williams, Milly de Cabrol, Alexa Hampton Papageorgiou, Miles Redd, David Netto, Albert Hadley and Markham Roberts — who mingled at the New York launch of the Oscar de la Renta Home Collection, which is licensed to Century Furniture.