NEW YORK — Dolce & Gabbana commanded the attention of New York’s fashion arbiters for two full days last week, opening its first men’s store in the city in tandem with the unveiling of its remodeled women’s flagship next door, and launching a new men’s fragrance, The One for Men—all with characteristic fanfare.
But those who have come to expect palatial flagships filled with fantastic imagery and elaborately styled mannequins were surprised to find something considerably more grounded and intimate, if the latter applies to 3,500 square feet of selling space.
“This is what I want for men,” said Stefano Gabbana. “It’s kind of classic, with rich materials, not too aggressive. You feel comfortable. It’s intimate. It’s the New York mood now, yes? All the clubs and restaurants now are private, intimate.”
While in New York, the design duo hit the exclusive watering holes favored by the fashion crowd these days, including the Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop, The Box and Beatrice Inn. “I was surprised. I went to Socialista and it’s like in Europe—small, private, very interesting,” Gabbana said.
Likewise, the moody and dimly lit store at 825-827 Madison Avenue is more absorbing than imposing, with a layout like the ultimate walk-in closet. A grand gesture, a massive Murano glass chandelier, greets visitors at street level. From there, shoppers are quickly drawn upstairs, where the floor branches into smaller nooks, which are stocked by category for the most part. Shirts, underwear, sportswear, and fine suits and tuxes have their own rooms. There is a wall of sneakers, another wall for denim (meticulously stacked by color), and an area for leatherwear and accessories, although the latter is spread throughout the store.
The collection in-store was spring, showing impressive speed to market.
Windows are draped in ropes of silver chain links. Shelves support block-lettered “DG” logos, rendered as sleek sculptures. Every wall, shelf and display case gleams with high-gloss lacquered wood, mirror-finished stainless steel or glass.
More than just a dedicated space for the house’s male customers, the store is a statement of Dolce & Gabbana’s commitment to men’s wear—a message that registered clearly with key U.S. wholesale partners. A who’s who of top U.S. men’s fashion buyers took note of the retail and merchandising strategy on show. In addition, the store is a testament to the U.S. men’s market’s receptivity to the house and to European fashion in general.
Gabbana and design partner Domenico Dolce both reflected on the cumbersome special considerations they used to make for the U.S. market—their attempts to cater to huskier physiques and less adventurous tastes. Not any longer.
“Basta, this is Dolce & Gabbana,” said Dolce. He elaborated on today’s customer, an international sort who is informed by travel and technology, and knows what the brand represents—slim fits, unabashed sexiness, urban sophistication.
“Now it’s exactly the same all over the world,” agreed Gabbana. “That’s a big change for the business and for the USA.”
Once considered primarily a women’s fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana has methodically closed the sales gap and continues to gain stature as a men’s company with both its Dolce & Gabbana and D&G lines. “It’s a very beautiful time for fashion, and for men’s fashion it’s the best,” said Dolce.
Dolce & Gabbana invested 37 million euros, or $47.4 million, to build four men’s-only stores in Milan, Paris, Los Angeles and New York, said Cristiana Ruella, managing director of the privately held company.
“The men’s store is an indirect way to show retail partners, both department and specialty stores, how much Dolce & Gabbana believes in men’s wear,” Ruella said.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)