LONDON — Alvaro Gonzalez, the Spanish accessories designer who has built a career working for brands including Valentino, Loewe, Tod’s, Jimmy Choo and most recently Stuart Weitzman’s SW1, is launching a namesake collection.
Alvaro is a small men’s collection of calf leather sandals with straps dip-dyed in a palette that includes eggplant, deep sea blue and dark green. There are also leather belts and crocodile eyewear cases in similarly rich shades, made in workshops around Florence.
Gonzalez, who is based in London and Florence, said the collection was born from pieces he regularly has made for himself — especially the sandals, which he admits to wearing nonstop between the end of May and the beginning of September.
“I’ve always been spoiled, surrounded by the best factories and working with brands, and living in Florence for the past 15 years,” said Gonzalez over coffee at the Connaught hotel in London.
Mr Porter has taken on the line exclusively, and will start selling it later this summer, and for spring 2014, Gonzalez said he will be looking to expand to other retail outlets. His Web site, alvarogonzalez.co, is live.
Prices for the calf sandals start at 225 pounds, or $349, while slim calf belts cost 195 pounds, or $302. Crocodile eyewear cases and belts are 395 pounds, or $612. All figures have been converted from the British pound at current exchange.
Gonzalez, formerly design director of accessories at Jimmy Choo, said he is also mulling the launch of a women’s collection. And with everything, the aim is longevity. “With time, I want all of the pieces to get nicer and nicer, like an old cashmere jumper.”
“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