NEW YORK — Russell Simmons, the mastermind behind Phat Fashions, will launch a line with Kellwood Co. for fall retailing.
Aimed at such stores as Sears and J.C. Penney, as well as specialty retailers, the line will be called Run Athletics, named after Simmons’ brother and Run DMC member Joseph Simmons, also known as Rev. Run, who will be the face of the ads for the brand.
“This line will eventually compete with the big athletic brands out there like Nike and Reebok,” said Marcie Corbett, president of Phat Fashions.
She said the first line, which will hit stores at the end of August, will consist entirely of athletic-inspired men’s wear. Plans are in the works to launch a boys’ line for spring. According to Corbett, the firm hopes to take this brand into a full lifestyle of clothing and other products, which might include women’s wear.
“The collection is designed with an excellent fit, offering young men affordable street styles with the quality and look they want,” said Robert Skinner Jr., Kellwood’s corporate vice president.
This venture with Run Athletics marks a major step into the urban clothing business for Kellwood. According to company executives, the Run brand has the potential to reach $50 million in sales within three years.
In 2002, Kellwood’s earnings gained 11.3 percent to $42 million on sales that were down 3 percent to $2.2 billion. Besides Run Athletics, Kellwood also is launching the licensed Izod women’s line this year and is gearing up for a 2004 launch of the Calvin Klein better sportswear line it’s producing under license for Phillips-Van Heusen.
Phat Fashions is a $260 million company that includes Phat Farm and Baby Phat clothing brands. Simmons founded Def Jam records, which is now considered the top hip-hop record label. Simmons also runs Rush Communications, which includes an advertising agency, charity organization and One World magazine.
Simmons also recently entered the business of beverages with his DefCon3, a health soft drink, and his purchase of Bella Cafe, a coffee drink.
“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