Classic specialty store vendors generally praised MRket’s debut in New York, where a tenuous sense of optimism pulsed through the aisles at the Jacob K. Javits Center.
Heavy on classification specialists and Italian luxury products, MRket offered retailers an artisanal counterpoint to the big brands holding court at their respective showrooms.
“The economy has prompted buyers to be more open-minded about who and what they have in their stores,” said Richard Grieco of RNG Clothing, a classic label that showed strong American suit styles — like the tan glen plaid and navy blue double-breasted pinstripe — for less than $1,000 at retail. “A lot of stores that wouldn’t look at us in the past are looking at us now.”
That curiosity was good news for niche players such as Italian leather outerwear maker Gimo’s, which emphasized novelty skins and superlight jackets. “What’s doing well is fashion, cutting-edge pieces,” said Antonio DiCapua, president of Tuscany & Co., which imports the jackets to the U.S. A 4-mm. treated goat suede bomber had the ease and hand of waxed cloth. “This is an item business.”
It was a similar story at Vigano, an Italian pants brand whose push into casual trousers has paid dividends thanks to spot-on styling in its range of Easter egg-hued cotton pants. “To get [a person] to buy full price, you have to give him something unique that he really wants,” said Vigano importer Victor Corchia.
But it wasn’t all novelty at MRket. The continued demand for “statement wovens” — à la Robert Graham — was in full force. No fewer than six brands, including Equilibrio, International Laundry and J. Campbell, made major statements with articulated button-downs. Saltaire offered versions in overdyed linen, mixed patterns and short sleeves.
Thomas Dean, a brand in its third season whose booth seemed permanently crowded, presented wovens in multistripes, jacquard-stripe mixes and exploded ginghams. “Retailers have a surprisingly good attitude today,” said principal Thomas Bonomo. “There is a sense of some stability.” The brand also revealed its first swim line, which focused on floral prints.
Overall, there was a sense that business had returned, if not to normal, then to some semblance of normalcy.
“Business conditions are the way they are,” said Britton Jones, president and chief executive officer of Business Journals Inc., which owns MRket. “But we are bullish on the specialty store business. We think right now it’s about finding what will stimulate buyers.”
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)