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.”
“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