The recession seemed to have eased its grip at the revamped and relocated ENK NYC, where vendors cheered the steady flow of “quality” retailers and a growing consensus that the apparel business had begun to improve.
“We’ve seen retailers we haven’t seen in the market for a few seasons,” said Greg Lawrance, co-founder of Number:Lab, which showed winning athletic-inspired pieces such as a reversible wool pull-over and tailored jersey drawstring pants. “Price is still their first question, but people seem to have more faith in the future.”
Ted Baker seems to share that faith. It’s doubled down on the U.S. market, where it has been absent for the past two seasons after its master license holder, Hartmarx Corp., filed bankruptcy last summer. Now under corporate control in London, the brand is relaunching next fall with a broad assortment of sportswear and accessories. More known in the U.S. for tailored clothing, the brand emphasized its casual offering, which included playful knits and denim-friendly wovens. “Without the intermediary of a licensee, we’ve also cut prices 25 percent,” said Patrick Heitkam, executive vice president of wholesale and licensing for Ted Baker USA.
Evisu also came to ENK to showcase its new identity, crafted by new owner Scott Morrison. The Earnest Sewn co-founder unveiled an Evisu that has traded its streetwear vibe for contemporary sportswear cool. The line, rife with layered workwear looks and reimagined “mensy” classics, was shown alongside Evisu Genes, a range of younger, more advanced sportswear.
Call it “vintage” or “heritage,” but old-time looks continue to saturate the contemporary sportswear market, where blue-collar chic has influenced nearly every vendor — some more literally than others. DS Dundee, a line of updated English countryside jackets and knits, made its U.S. debut at ENK NYC with thick wool shooting jackets, melton shawl collar coats and Fair Isle knits. Recut for today’s citified squires, the line was an apt symbol of the nostalgia running through men’s wear at the moment and a reminder that the familiar can serve as fashion — especially in challenging times.
The recession continued to define business at ENK in other ways, too. Sanyo, a large outerwear maker in Japan, said the majority of its business in the U.S. stems from in-stock programs as retailers have shunned seasonal goods. A Sanyo representative said 80 percent of its sales were from in-stock goods, compared with 50 percent two years ago.
“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