LOS ANGELES -- Resortwear favorite Tommy Bahama is hitting the water.
Its swimwear line bows at market in New York this week, and buyers can expect faithful interpretations of the brand's signature sportswear, as well as sexier, contemporary pieces duly suited for collegians on spring break and more mature women opting for a cruise.
The nine-year-old brand, with headquarters in New York and Seattle, chose fit-conscious Apparel Ventures as its swim licensee last October to turn its signature jacquard prints, sueded fabrics and muted colors into true-to-size swimwear that would appeal to its core 35- to 55-year-old customer base as well as a wider range of consumers, including a younger crowd.
"They did a great job of hitting the center of the target, but appealing to the contemporary woman is important, too," said Tommy Bahama chief executive officer Tony Margolis of Apparel Ventures. "If you don't have some of that, you paint yourself into a box." Margolis emphasized that a solid color line is integral to business success. But he believes the jacquard print will be important for the brand. "Without that, you can dance at the party but you will never be the center attraction," he added.
Apparel Ventures president Lynn Koplin didn't blink at having just three months to produce the spring collection. It's one of three per year. And she insisted that the timing of the deliveries is on target.
"With the 9/11 events, the resort business was a little off this season, so shipping for late-February/early-March will work because that's when people will start traveling again," she said. "When you ship for spring, you appeal to the young customer who's just now taking her vacation. She's not a winter resort person, she's spring break."
One-piece maillots account for about 60 percent of the line. Leather belts, bamboo hoops and wooden beads are among the details defining the line. Suits are merchandised with matching cover-ups, such as pareos and tops.
The line is priced to retail from $80-$100.
Also indicative of Tommy Bahama's reach for a younger customer is the decision to split the line into half constructed and half unconstructed suits.Noting that it takes about three seasons for a line to prove itself, Margolis insists he doesn't have a "magic number in mind, in terms of sales."
“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