With about 750 brands spread across 300,000 square feet of the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Project Las Vegas was downsized from its previous 550,000-square-foot home at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The factors were the intentional migration of brands to the new Premium section of MAGIC, as well as the slow economy.
Although the trend-driven show was smaller, it still exerted significant gravitational pull on retailers, and traffic was heavy and steady on the show floor, vendors said. Against the backdrop of low expectations, many attendees said the season has proven stronger than anticipated.
“I thought it was going to be a lot worse,” said Jade Howe, founder and designer of Howe, which he owns in partnership with Seattle Pacific Industries. “We actually have more appointments this season than last, and we’ve been busy all day.”
Howe pointed to the appeal of his poly-viscose suits that retail for $250, and other key items such as cardigans and $155 Japanese denim jeans as reasons for the brand’s resiliency in the retail downturn.
“We’re not going to post the same numbers we did last year, but I’m happy with the season so far,” said Eric Kim, founder of Monarchy, a division of Hartmarx Corp., which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Kim was confident his brand would survive the bankruptcy proceedings and was pushing his new higher-end Monarchy Black label, which features cleaner styles and better fabrics.
At the opposite end, Kim was also hawking an affordably priced label, called Manchester, which was previously only sold to Buckle Inc., but has been picked up by Macy’s Inc., Dillard’s Inc. and Von Maur Inc. department stores. To aid independent specialty retailers, Monarchy was offering 15 percent wholesale discounts to selected partners, with the stipulation that they not lower retail prices.
Monarchy’s high-low price play was echoed by James Hammonds, men’s buyer at American Rag Cie who said the retailer was doing best with high-end luxury product and low-cost basics.
“We’re doing well with really exclusive stuff like Rick Owens Dark Shadow and then cheap, easy basics,” he noted. At Project, some of his favorite brands included two heritage labels: Woolrich John Rich Bros. and Farah Vintage, a label debuting from Perry Ellis U.K., featuring reissues of trouser styles from the Sixties and Seventies.
@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)