NEW YORK — The economy, the challenges of running a fashion business, debt and the inability to secure financial backing can all factor into a designer’s decision to close shop, but for Jane Mayle, an out-of-control fashion system was the ultimate trigger behind calling it quits on her business after 10 years.
The Mayle holiday-resort collection that ships to stores this November will be her last and the boutique she operates at 242 Elizabeth Street here is slated to close in February. The expiration of her store’s lease then caused Mayle to take a step back and reevaluate her options.
“We knew we didn’t want to reinvest in the neighborhood,” Mayle said. “It prompted me to think hard about where I was in business and where I wanted to go. The industry has changed so much, and the little niche we entered when I started the brand, and the demands in this niche have changed, so I asked myself, ‘Do I want to keep participating?’”
Unlike many of her contemporaries, Mayle took a less traditional route, opting to forgo the usual runway showings to rely on more of a word-of-mouth approach and focus on her retail operation. She launched her business with the 400-square-foot boutique called Phare in 1998, but renamed it Mayle and started wholesaling her line a year later. The designer quickly earned a following with downtown types who embraced her “magpie aesthetic” that had the feel of old-world romance.
Today, Mayle said her business is healthier than ever, raking in annual sales of $5 million with 65 wholesale accounts worldwide, including Barneys New York, Opening Ceremony, Louis Boston and Harvey Nichols.
Yet she was turned off by the ever-accelerating fashion system, its out-of-whack delivery cycle and the pressures to cave into the importance placed on media hype that can sometimes be counterproductive.
“It seems like a commercial cul-de-sac in a way that the customer gets tired before the collections even hit stores,” Mayle said. “How I came to this business was all about dreaming and building a wardrobe you would be seduced by. That mystery and remoteness and insouciance have disappeared from fashion in order to accelerate the product. I feel I have just become another cog in that machinery.”
The demands, she added, affected her ability to get her hands on the quality fabrics she sought, for instance.
“It’s become so overaccelerated that I felt the only way to make things meaningful is to stop doing them,” she said.
Mayle wouldn’t disclose details of her next move, but said she is not necessarily turning her back on fashion.
“What I learned from having this business, I could apply anywhere,” she said. “It could be interiors, graphics, scents — anything evoking an atmosphere. That’s where I’d like to situate myself.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)