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.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews