NEW YORK — Victoria’s Secret is embarking on a new strategy with high-end French designer brand Chantal Thomass.
The $3.81 billion lingerie retailer began testing Chantal Thomass for Victoria’s Secret lingerie in 2002 at select units, and now plans to expand the saucy brand of highly embellished corsets, bustiers, bras, panties and legwear from 10 to 100 doors in September, said designer Chantal Thomass in a phone interview from her atelier in Paris.
“My Parisienne collection for Victoria’s Secret has been selling extremely well at their top stores, including Herald Square in New York and Washington,” said Thomass. “Now, we’ll be shipping fresh merchandise, styles and colors every two months because of the demand.
“It’s very funny that I am doing this for Victoria’s Secret because I’ve known them a long time, ever since I worked on accessories, nightwear and robes for the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows,” continued Thomass. “I just love the store. For French people, Victoria’s Secret is very strong because we have nothing like that in France. I’m sure if they opened a Victoria’s Secret store in France, people would love it.”
The victoriassecret.com Web site began selling Thomass’ lingerie in mid-August, and the exclusive collection also is featured in a four-page spread in the current Victoria’s Secret catalogue for fall. Retail prices average $68 for a cross-dyed balconette bra, $128 for an embroidered baby doll, $168 for a lace-up Merry Widow with adjustable garters and $228 for a lace-up mesh bodysuit.
Regarding Victoria’s Secret’s view of Thomass, Anthony Hebron, director of communications for Victoria’s Secret and its parent, The Limited Inc., said: “She’s hitting the big time. This is a good example of how Victoria’s Secret is using innovation that not only comes from within, but also comes from outside as well. This [Chantal Thomass] is [serving] that customer who likes European design and also wants the best in design and fabrics.”
Bestsellers by Thomass include styles that feature lace corsetry and Guipure lace, and lined and push-up bras, he said.
A spokeswoman for the Sara Lee Corp.-owned Chantal Thomass brand described the Chantal Thomass-Victoria’s Secret partnership as a “very attractive combination.”“They [Victoria’s Secret] want to have designer names to upgrade their image and have a different layer of offerings for other consumers,” she said.
In addition, Lucky Brand sleepwear and underwear is being tested in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue and Web site for the first time, said Hebron. A select number of styles by Lucky Brand for Victoria’s Secret include retro sleep camis, retailing for $20, V-neck sleep T-shirts for $28 and knit pajama bottoms for $30. Thongs are three pairs for $24.
Hebron acknowledged another upscale European brand is being sold at Victoria’s Secret stores — Vannina Vesperini. However, for the time being, it’s “just at select stores.” He would not elaborate.
“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