NEW YORK — First, it was the men; now the women got their makeover.
Façonnable is going through a revamp, and earlier this month, the new women’s fall collection was unveiled in New York. The lineup picks up on Riviera themes — the brand was founded by Jean Goldberg in 1950 and is based in Nice, France — though the clothes are rendered with enough substance to be suitable beyond resort.
Where once women’s at Façonnable was a study in basics like cotton shirts and chinos, and accounting for just 5 percent of sales, new artistic director Daniel Kearns is looking to infuse the brand with a more fashionable sensibility and hopes to turn it into a substantial category for the company.
“My approach for the women’s wear collection was to try to create a ‘contemporary wardrobe’ using the DNA of the brand,” Kearns said. “When I think of the French Riviera I think of color, light and an easy-chic approach. Women like Romy Schneider and Grace Kelly in Cannes and Monte Carlo, the photography of Helmut Newton; it is a rich source.”
His approach, he added, was a mix of “tailoring and flou, sometimes mixed in the same piece, to create codes that can be used in the most simple pieces and to work on fit, light materials and colors.”
Highlights include a beige double-face coat for $1,295 at suggested retail, which the brand is teaming with a white cashmere turtleneck, $825, and pleated flannel pants, $475; a blush knit cashmere-and-silk top, $995, shown with a metallic leather pencil skit, $2,250, and a printed silk jacket, $1,195, with slim-cut pants for $595.
Ludovic Le Gourrièrec, who joined Façonnable in July as deputy managing director, elaborated, “It’s a completely new story we are launching in fall. It’s a complete collection, from Monday to Sunday, with evening dresses — we are a brand for the French Riviera, so there is the Cannes Film Festival.”
Lebanon-based M1 Group, which bought the company from Nordstrom in 2007 for $210 million, is looking to upgrade the brand, thus recent investments such as Kearns’ hire and new management to position it for the future.
Kearns came to Façonnable from Yves Saint Laurent, where he was men’s wear design director under Stefano Pilati, and worked with John Galliano to launch that brand’s men’s wear in 2002. He also worked as design director for men’s wear at Alexander McQueen until the designer’s 2010 death, and designed sailing collections for Louis Vuitton.
The fall looks will start arriving in Façonnable stores in April. The relaunch of women’s will correspond with a new advertising campaign photographed by Alexandre Tabaste in the South of France.
The company is also looking to wholesale the collection, and the plan is to grow the business to represent 30 percent of overall sales, or, as Le Gourrièrec said, “roughly $40 million worldwide.” The growth in women’s will also be reflected as store designs are being updated. “Today we have eight stores in the U.S. including [Manhattan’s] Fifth Avenue, Costa Mesa [Calif.], and San Francisco,” Le Gourrièrec noted. “Most of them were 95 percent men’s, and depending on the location, we will develop ladies as well.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast