“I thought it was going to be a multibillion-dollar brand in one year and it’s ended up being a disappointment,” said Viktor Tell when asked what was his initial goal for Happy Socks.Tell, who cofounded Happy Socks in 2008 with Mikael Söderlindh, was joking. He and Soderlindh, whose cheery dispositions match the name of their brand, were both in New York to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the sock company they started in Sweden.Happy Socks began during an economic downturn when customers couldn’t splurge on a jacket or coat, but could afford a bright pair of printed socks, which, at the time, were hard to find. They filled a void and built a brand message that resonated with artists and companies ranging from The Beatles and Pharrell Williams to Rolex, which have all collaborated on Happy Socks capsule collections.Over the past 10 years, the company has grown into an international sock design brand that is sold in 90-plus countries, with more than 10,000 points of sale. The business includes an online site and a growing portfolio of company-owned stores. In 2016, the brand generated retail sales of 100 million euros, or $106.4 million, and in 2017 it was acquired by Palamon Capital Partners for $81.2 million, but the founders remain at the helm. In 2017 it also ended its license deal with United Legwear and began operating in the U.S. market directly. It opened a New York flagship late last year.While many brands are cutting down on retail, Tell and Söderlindh continue to increase their store count and are hoping to grow from 50 to 60 global stores to around 90 over the next couple years.“When you are a specialist, you shouldn’t be scared of opening more stores,” said Söderlindh. “We are opening small stores that are around 500 square feet and the current state of retail has provided us with opportunities to sign good deals.”According to Söderlindh and Tell, growing retail only increases the wholesale business, which still accounts for most of the company’s sales. The strategy for wholesale going forward is to expand the presence at retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom with more stockkeeping units as well as launching new brands.Happy Socks recently moved into the swim category with printed swim trunks that retail for $65. And it created an entirely new brand called Hysteria, which targets Millennial women. Paula Maso, a concept designer at Happy Socks, pitched the idea to Tell and Söderlindh and they gave her the creative license to build out a brand. The founders said they are discussing the idea of having Hysteria-only stores – the line is currently sold in Happy Socks locations along with 10 Corso Como, Printemps, Selfridges, Barneys New York and Nordstrom.“It has proven itself and we’ve doubled the budget for it,” said Söderlindh.Since launching, more sock brands have entered the market, which Tell said only strengthens the sock industry. Going forward the plan is to build deeper into existing sub categories.“The challenge is staying creative,” said Tell. “And making sure that we just keep on going and producing more product,” added Söderlindh.
"'Dynasty' is all about gowns, the diamonds and the scandal, so it's a bit like the fashion industry. When we come to Cannes it's all about the red carpet dresses too, so it all fit really well," said designer @philippplein78 on the theme of his high-glamour resort 2019 show at his mansion in Cannes. #wwdfashion #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
"I think Spike is such a brilliant director because he holds up a mirror to society and reflects these issues, yet he doesn't shove it down your throat, he doesn't tell you what to think," says @lauraharrier on her latest film @Blackkklansman. Harrier was at the Cannes Film Festival – for the very first time – with @officialspikelee. #wwdeye #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
“I would think to myself, Are you happy? Yes, I’m wildly happy. I go to this studio every day and, in my inside voices, I’m giggling; I’m singing. Yes, it’s a lot of work, it’s a [huge] volume of material. It wouldn’t be for everybody. But I was very happy,” said soap opera star @therealsusanlucci of checking in throughout the years with her career trajectory. Lucci spoke to WWD about her decades-long career, love for pilates, motherhood and her QVC activewear line. Read Bridget Foley’s full piece on Lucci on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: @celestesloman)
@balmain has taken a stand at the #cannes Film Festival, dressing 16 actresses at a press call for the project “Noire N’est Pas Mon Metier,” or “Black Is Not My Profession.” The multimedia project includes a book, photo exhibit and documentary, which aims to expose discrimination in the French and American entertainment industries. “The moment I was asked to participate, I knew it was right for me, and for this brand, to form a part of this moment,” Balmain creative director @olivier_rousteing told WWD. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
"I always feel curious and I feel like there's more to learn. But I think being relevant, feeling relevant, I personally always feel that there's just so much more to know. And maybe that's the key.” — @themarcjacobs #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty (📷: @patrickmacleodphoto )
“The most amazing thing about her is that, regardless of all the things that have happened to her, her spirit is so undaunted by all of it. She is the most cheerful person you will ever meet. She doesn’t see problems, she only sees solutions,” said @ajanaomi_king of activist Ifrah Ahmed, who she plays in a new film “A Girl from Mogadishu.” WWD caught up with King at Cannes — Head to WWD.com to read more about her new role, personal style and how she uses social media for causes like Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter #wwdeye
WWD asked a number designers to share their thoughts on what Meghan Markle’s wedding gown will look like this Saturday. Here, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sketches his look. #wwdfashion #royalwedding #meghanmarkle