A Manhattan neighborhood can go from outré to everyday in a New York minute. It happened to the Meatpacking District and Hell’s Kitchen, and in 1972 it started happening to the East Village. Though some promises of the day (like the opening of the Second Avenue subway by 1977) never materialized, the area definitely experienced some growing pains. WWD’s reporters were there to watch it happen.
Today, gentrification is one of the longest four-letter words in the book. But in the Seventies, people approached the “revitalization” of the East Village as an opportunity to make the community their own. Store owners had long complained of losing money as they were forced to close stores earlier and earlier due to crime. “As soon as it gets dark, there’s no one around,” said Bruce Conley of East River Leathers. “People are afraid.” So on Ninth Street between First and Second avenues, a group of local merchants embraced the idea of welcoming a new, richer clientele. Slowly, they began to set themselves apart as an example of the “new” East Village. “There’s a lot of chic here,” said Beverly Miller, who ran two shops on the strip. But, still putting community first, store owners wanted to avoid the “knickknacks and tchotchkes” image of their retail counterparts in popular Greenwich Village. “We don’t want that crafty feeling,” she added.
Hip shops weren’t the only things popping up. The NYPD applied some creative techniques that included a “stop, walk and talk” initiative aimed at restoring neighborhood confidence in the police force, and established a methadone treatment and support program. And though many lamented the closing of legendary entertainment fixtures like the Electric Circus and the Fillmore, their absence (or more importantly, the absence of their patrons) changed the village a great deal. “I prefer the coffeehouse type of thing to the $5-a-night setups,” Bruce Conley said. The exit of the “hippie community” from St. Mark’s Place along with the efforts of local law enforcement helped spark a 52 percent reduction in street crime. But there was still a bit of resistance. The Third Avenue Artists’, Tenants’ and Businessmen’s Association fought the NYC Planning Department’s initiative to build luxury studio units along Third Avenue. But even they were focused more on the neighborhood’s well-being than the idea of the rich displacing the poor. Cornell Edwards, a member of the community group and owner of a florist shop on East 13th Street, summed up their primary concern: “We’re fighting the kind of luxury housing that attracts young people who are not interested in the community.”
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