NEW YORK — Onward Holdings Co. Ltd., the Tokyo-based firm that owns Jil Sander, Joseph, J. Press, ICB, Iris and Gibò Co. SpA, among many other apparel-driven companies, opened two new flagships today at 20 East 20th Street in the Flatiron District here: Chacott by Freed of London and Hannari & MG.
The former is a dance and ballet apparel store with a skin-care line and yogawear collection; the latter is devoted to pet-related goods and children’s education items. Their combined retail space is 3,800 square feet. Both are what Onward considers lifestyle concepts already well-established in Japan, and which the company hopes to capitalize on in North America
In New York for the flagship openings, Takeshi Hirouchi, chairman and president of Onward Holdings, used the occasion to share the company’s international strategy for its various brands, beginning with Jil Sander. “We have Jil [Sander] back and we’re happy with that,” said Hirouchi. “With Raf Simons, he was a little bit forward-fashion and that was well-received, but now we’re going back to the origins with Jil. From what I hear, the reaction of the retailers has been good since the designer’s return to her label last year.”
In terms of a retail growth plan for Sander, Hirouchi sees Asia as a focus with additional potential in the future in Brazil and Russia, which are untapped markets thus far. He also stressed the importance and growth potential of Jil Sander Navy, the label’s more accessibly priced line. Asked if Sander would oversee the design of that collection, Hirouchi said, “That is the direction.”
Hirouchi also talked manufacturing. Between Onward’s production capabilities with Gibò Co. and Iris, both of which operate out of Italy — the latter in a new, state-of-the-art facility near Venice that is capable of producing 30,000 shoes a day — and factories in China, the group has established a strong “platform” on which to roll out wholesale and retail expansion in Europe and North America. “The craftsmanship starts in Italy and, of course, now we have China,” said Hirouchi. “There is a synergy there and a nice flow of communication between Italy and China. There’s a know-how that we’re sharing.”
On the subject of ICB, which was relaunched with American designer Prabal Gurung at the helm a year ago, it will remain exclusive to Barneys New York through pre-fall 2013. After that, the collection will be open to other speciality retailers. As a result, the label will hold its first runway show Feb. 11 during New York Fashion Week. Previously, the collection has been shown digitally through KCD’s Digital Fashion Show platform.
As for acquisitions, Hirouchi said Onward is always looking and hinted that a deal with another well-established lifestyle brand along the lines of Chacott and Hannari is on the table.
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)