PARIS — The French ballet-shoe brand Repetto unveiled its first ready-to-wear collection on Tuesday at the company’s headquarters here.
The 18-piece collection is inspired by dancers’ clothing and was designed by Emilie Luc-Duc, who worked with Anne Valérie Hash and is now creative director of the French brand Rodier.
It features tied and draped tops, corset-like knitting, and a color range of powdery pastels. Retail prices range from 200 euros for the tops, or $254 at current exchange rates, to 420 euros, or $534, for dresses. It will be available on Nov. 28 on the brand’s e-shop and in a selection of Repetto shops starting Dec. 5.
“After ballet flats and leather goods, [ready-to-wear] was important to complete the silhouette,” said Repetto chief executive officer Jean-Marc Gauchet. He insisted on the consistency of the brand’s positioning on dancing. “We see a big enthusiasm for ballet. Dance classes for instance are so packed in Paris that it is hard to find room in a class.”
Gauchet said he expects the company to grow by over 20 percent this year. While traditional ballet flats and heeled styles are still the biggest category (400 references are released each season), bags and small leather goods now represent 10 percent of the company’s business. In addition, the first Repetto fragrance, whose license is held by Inter Parfums SA, is set to launch in July 2013.
The company inaugurated last week a 37,675 square-feet extension of its Dordogne, France-based factory. “We have been limited by our production capacity so far. The new extension will allow us to triple our production,” Gauchet said. The plan is in place to hire 150 new workers.
The bigger facility will put the company in good shape to continue its global expansion, according to Gauchet. Later this month, Repetto will debut standalone stores in Dubai and Seoul, South Korea. The brand already counts 45 standalone units in Asia. Gauchet is also plotting the first standalone store in the U.S. in 2013, provided he finds the right location, preferably in SoHo.
Two new stores are also to open in December in France — in Aix-en Provence and on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris. “We are opening [Saint Honoré] while we revamp our store on Rue de la Paix.” He said the Rue de la Paix store would double in size and reopen in March 2013. “We had to make space for ready-to-wear,” he said.
“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