Before launching her activewear label Alala, Denise Lee had the advantage of hitting up her former boss Chris Burch for all kinds of advice.
Having worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the founder of Burch Creative Capital for three years, Lee knew all about the factory visits and flight time that go into building a brand. The former vice president of business development joined the company when C. Wonder was just getting off the ground and she exited in November 2012.
During an interview with Burch Wednesday in his NoMad office, Lee noted that they traveled to China frequently to tour factories for BCC, an operation that includes technology, resorts, health care and apparel enterprises. Burch, who logged 1,000 hours on airplanes last year, said with a laugh, “We’ve flown all over the world together. It’s so fun walking around swamps in flip-flops; driving seven hours in a car.”
Training for the 2012 Montauk Sprint Triathlon, Lee was struck by how basic the activewear market was. “I love shopping and I love fashion, but there was no brand out there that I was really dying to buy,” she said. “That kind of sparked my interest and I did a lot of research.”
Named for the Greek goddess, Alala will launch at Equinox, the New York-based fitness club, that Lee works out at and where she conducted some observational research. She also kept her eyes peeled at Flywheel and other spinning studios. Designed by Christie Orlando, who once worked on Champion, Alala is meant to be more fashion-forward with such design details as curved mesh panels on printed spandex capri pants. This spring, Lee will start hosting trunk shows for her 25-piece collection, which will retail from $60 for a T-back bra top to $175 for a jacket. Alala’s e-commerce site is expected to go live by the end of next month. The line is being sold in select specialty stores. Crescala Showroom is handling the wholesale appointments.
Lee’s financing is mainly from friends and family and does not include any contributions from Burch, although he hasn’t ruled that out as an option.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)