Cult Gaia, the whimsical L.A. accessories firm that’s gained a following for its bamboo handbags, is expanding into ready-to-wear.For fall, the brand will launch a contemporary collection that is being shown to retailers this week in New York. The line is manufactured entirely in Los Angeles. Although the brand has dabbled in apparel in the past, it's the first time it is wholesaling a rtw collection.Jasmin Larian, Cult Gaia's founder, owner and designer, explained that she wanted to launch apparel because she had been making her own clothes and thought it would give "a holistic image" to her brand. Her goal is to create “seasonless clothes for women to wear over and over again," she said."I don’t want people to think twice [about buying them]. It’s a feeling of something they have to have,” she said.Among the key pieces are white cotton wrap pajama pants; viscose/cotton cropped sweaters; turtleneck bodysuits; white stretch denim wrap mini-skirts; cashmere blend off-the-shoulder sweater dresses; camel wool double cloth tieback jumpsuits, and silk jersey criss-cross gowns.“It’s young, but elevated and super sexy,” said Larian, who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and interned at Jason Wu and Narciso Rodriguez. There are also subtle details, such as a simple chain link across a bare back. The collection wholesales from $110 to $350.Larian said she set out to design clothing that works with her statement bags. The clothes are sized from extra small to large. They will be selectively available at retailers such as Moda Operandi and Steven Alan. “I don’t want to be oversaturated,” she said.Larian started her company six years ago, but her handbag wholesale business really took off about two years ago. She began making accessories, such as the bamboo handbags, hair ornaments and bracelets that are worn by celebrities including Lupita Nyong'o, Kendall Jenner and Chrissy Teigen. The business has grown over 1,000 percent in the past month. "January sales were the highest ever," said Larian.The popular bamboo bags, manufactured in China, are sold at upscale retailers such as Net-a-porter, Need Supply, Steven Alan, Five Story and Forty Five Ten. She also sells her handbags on her web site and will add rtw in June/July.“Having an online option is great for the business. In order for a brand to succeed, you have to have cash flow and get cash immediately. You don’t have terms and that helps keep a business afloat,” she said.Larian said she’s managed her accessories business without ever having to show formally. It all happened via e-mail, Instagram, Facebook and word of mouth. She currently employs six people who work in her L.A. office.This year, Larian expects to generate $3 million in sales throughout the company.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)