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.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
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)