The recent dispute between Jones Apparel Group and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. over the lucrative Lauren by Ralph Lauren line, combined with Kellwood Co.’s win of the lucrative Calvin Klein women’s sportswear license last month, has put...
The recent dispute between Jones Apparel Group and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. over the lucrative Lauren by Ralph Lauren line, combined with Kellwood Co.’s win of the lucrative Calvin Klein women’s sportswear license last month, has put the better sportswear market in the spotlight.
The rush to invade the better market stems from a perceived opportunity in the lower-priced apparel arena, where Lauren by Ralph Lauren held enormous real estate at department stores across the U.S. for several years, representing the most successful transition of a designer label into that price point until the dispute between Jones and Lauren put its future into question.
Striking while the dominant player is regrouping from the attack —?in which Jones walked away from the line and both companies sued each other — has become the industry’s latest craze. Several companies with an eye on volume are scrambling to strike in the better market, including designers like Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs who are looking for new licenses, while Oscar de la Renta is also said to be negotiating with J.C. Penney for a new moderate-to-better line.
Jones said it will develop a Jones New York lifestyle line for the better area that will be priced less than Lauren’s collection, and Liz Claiborne, which holds tremendous real estate in stores with its $1.6 billion signature line, is gaining momentum with its City DKNY license.
“Why should fashion be barricaded by a price point?” Jeffry Aronsson, chief executive officer of Marc Jacobs, said in a recent interview. “We know it’s a huge potential opportunity for us and that it’s something that would be considered right in its own time. When you look at a jeans potential and one that would be more accessible, one can imagine what an enormous potential that would be and one wishes to be very thoughtful that the timing is correct.”
As for the better-priced Marc line, some industry sources have pointed to a launch in the latter half of 2004. Aronsson has stressed, however, that it’s not so much about when a deal might come about, but more about finding the perfect candidate for the job.
“It’s not so much about the nationality as it is the absolute best and right candidate, and it might mean different arrangements, depending on where [the company] is and how production translates into price in the location of the point of sale,” he said. “There are several choices in the world and one wants to be absolutely certain that it is the best choice.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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