TORRANCE, Calif. — Start your engines. Alpinestars, the Italian clothing brand that has outfitted race car drivers and motorcyclists for 45 years, is entering the U.S. women’s sportswear wholesale business for fall.
Eyeing the young contemporary shopper who covets on-point trends at reasonable prices, the company is offering everything that a woman needs to look as if she’s a motor sports aficionado — even if she doesn’t know how to ride a bike.
A T-shirt retailing for $50 is emblazoned with the phrase “Alpinestars Motorcycle Club.” Waxed jeans costing less than $90 can be tucked into chunky boots and paired with a $160 fake leather moto jacket. A $50 leather belt may be looped around a $90 cotton plaid shirtdress modeled after a mechanic’s uniform. A $100 pencil skirt crafted from raw denim sewn on the reverse side so that the indigo is inside is aimed at experimental trendsetters.
“It’s a line for a girl who has an edge to her,” said Alpinestars designer Denise Focil, as she unveiled new looks from the company’s holiday and early spring collections while stepping gingerly around a custom-made motorcycle set in the center of the company’s showroom here. “It was always a dream of ours from the beginning [to offer women’s sportswear]. Our girl, this edgy dangerous girl, has always been there in the boutique market.”
Alpinestars, with 350 workers at its headquarters in Asolo, Italy, near Venice, employs 50 people in the U.S. The company runs an office for product development and design in Agoura Hills, Calif., and one for sales and administration in Torrance. To support its new women’s business, Alpinestars hired a four-person sales team targeting boutiques. It also employs a graphic designer and a couple of product developers working with Focil, who is married to the owner of Alpinestars, Gabriele Mazzarolo.
Focil said Alpinestars aims to hit $2 million in wholesale sales for the women’s business in the first year, or about one-tenth of what the four-year-old men’s line generates each year. The company posts a total of $180 million in annual wholesale revenue, Focil said.
Although Alpinestars’ roots are in Europe, the company decided to launch women’s apparel in the U.S. because its design team is based here, Focil said. The apparel follows the introduction of handbags two years ago. Focil said the firm plans to offer the women’s line in Europe as soon as 2010.
The moto-inspired trend is gaining momentum in fashion. For instance, Stefano Pilati added sass to his fall lineup for Yves Saint Laurent with an asymmetric hem on a brown motorcycle jacket, and Los Angeles-based Pratt’s Motor Spirit tricks out classic leather motorcycle pants in distressed denim. What differentiates Alpinestars is the combination of an authentic moto heritage with comfort and retail prices that average between $100 and $110.
As such, Alpinestars struck a chord with retailer Jackie Brander, who ordered its fall lineup for Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica, Calif.
“It sort of has a cool element of streetwear but done in a way that is more cozy,” said Brander, adding that she was fond of the leather jacket with sweater insets and the sherpa-lined hoodies. “At my store, comfort and fashion have to go hand in hand.”
Even if some customers veer from the moto trend, Alpinestars said its business has staying power.
“For us, it’s a way of life. It’s not going to come and go,” Focil said. “As long as there’s a need for speed and [women] being young and fierce, we’re in business.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)