In a testament to the redefinition of bridge, the iconic old-guard bridge brand Ellen Tracy is shedding its suited, oft-theatrical skin in favor of a more modern line for fall.
Under new ownership (Fashionology LLC), new leadership (Mark Mendelson) and new creative direction (Susanne Klevorick), the $100 million brand appears poised to sit on the redesigned bridge floors of today, filled with new-guard lines such as Elie Tahari and Tory Burch.
Mendelson, president and chief executive officer of Fashionology and Ellen Tracy, said the new Ellen Tracy is targeting two consumers, in addition to the brand’s historic customer: the contemporary customer who has outgrown that department, and the designer customer who is trading down in this economy.
“These women are being completely underserved,” Mendelson said. “Philosophically, I believe this market is so untapped. These customers are walking around everywhere, wondering why no one wants their money.”
The company has changed three key elements of the brand, namely:
• Key items v. deliveries: “Each delivery [previously] had a color story, and the new delivery killed the old delivery,” said Mendelson. “It was a self-fulfilling prophecy of death.” Instead of each delivery having a dramatically different look, Klevorick said the focus is on key items with a “flow of color, so nothing becomes dead on the floor.” In showing the clothes, Mendelson said he embraces the mixing of deliveries and even the mixing of Ellen Tracy with other designers because “that’s how women dress.”
• The fit: For fall, the brand is introducing 14 pant styles in sizes 0 to 18. It has kept the iconic “Linda” fit and the former fit model but also has added new silhouettes based on a modern fit and a second slightly less curvy fit model. Both models try on every sample to get a better idea of fit (a practice the brand had years ago). “A second model is a great checkpoint,” Klevorick said.
• The price-value relationship: The brand dropped its average prices by 20 to 25 percent, passing on lowered sourcing and overhead costs.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)