VANCOUVER — Sir Paul Smith landed here during his ocean-hopping travels on Monday, winging up from Los Angeles via Tokyo. Marking his first visit to Canada since the Eighties, Smith visited the city to see his new shop-in-shop at Holt Renfrew’s Pacific Centre outpost, give interviews, meet the store’s staff and give a speech to 175 customers — before jetting off the same night en route to New York for 12 hours before flying home to London.
With a worldwide economic perspective given his own retail operations, Smith told WWD that while department store sales have slumped, his signature shops are showing 6 percent gains. “I’ve been buying lots myself with my own card,” he said.
“We haven’t seen the bottom yet,” he cautioned. “There is a complexity we won’t realize until after holiday, into January and February. Wholesale will be impacted come spring for next winter.”
During his speech, Smith pointed to creativity as his distinguishing key to success. That is what he expects to carry his company through these uncertain economic times. “In my shops, we don’t see a decline. We don’t sell just clothes,” he said, pointing out the books, ceramics, vintage vinyl records and accessories that make up his lifestyle stores. “People are fascinated to come in. They don’t know what they will find. I try to make it quirky and each store is individual. There is no formula to roll out around the world. It’s not just about clothes; you have to enhance the presence with alternative things.”
His message to the audience was that creative inspiration is all around. “You can find inspiration everywhere. With today’s fashion world, everyone is following each other. It’s like buying yesterday’s newspaper. One hour after a show, designs are on the Internet and being copied. I don’t look at any one thing in particular for inspiration. I find it in art, music, architecture, travel and humor. I look to a childlike, not childish, approach to work with freshness and continual questioning.”
This method apparently works. Smith reported that his Japanese stores are doing well despite the economy and after an “enormous year prior” and the units in India and Russia are doing “quite well.” A new store in Antwerp, Belgium, is expected to open before the end of the year. And he summed up retailing in typically straightforward style: “The key is to get people to come into the stores.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye