MILAN — “It was time to bring it all home,” said Thom Browne of his focus on and the development of his namesake brand.During a walk-through of his men’s pre-collection in Milan, which clearly showed how extensive his line has become, with every category expanding significantly, the designer explained how he is looking forward to the future as the company is expected to close 2017 with sales gain of 20 to 25 percent.“I made a conscious decision a year ago to spend all of my time on my own brand, which is really coming together,” said Browne, adding that he had been “really happy” with his past collaborations. These include the Moncler Gamme Bleu line, whose last season was presented for spring 2018. As reported earlier this month, Remo Ruffini, chairman and chief executive officer of Moncler, said the company was also closing the Gamme Rouge collection, designed by Giambattista Valli, in line with a new strategy that is expected to be presented in February.“I am evolving my brand, but making sure it’s my own way, so that you can see the Thom Browne sensibility. I am staying true to the label but reaching out to a bigger audience,” the designer explained. Browne said there are many potential customers who don't know they could carry off wearing the brand, which is known for its tailored and shrunken suits. For example, he cited Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, who both fit into his looks.The company has grown from a mainly men’s wear and wholesale business launched 15 years ago to a direct-to-consumer brand also encompassing women’s wear and accessories.Last year, revenues totaled 100 million euros and the company. Women’s wear now accounts for 30 percent of the total and is growing faster than men’s wear, Browne said.Asked about the revolutions in fashion since he first launched his brand, Browne said his own sensibility hasn’t changed and that “it doesn’t need to change; I would be doing a disservice to the customer otherwise. The brand is strong in a timeless way. There is a reason why customers are buying [Thom Browne]."He spoke of a classic and timeless idea behind his products, although he has been adding a lot of sportswear and pieces inspired by ath-leisure. “I like clothing that is worn, that gets better with age. I look at it in a utilitarian way,” he remarked. “Clothing should be real and authentic.”Given the breadth of the collection, Browne is also looking at selling online, joining Farfetch last August, for example.The designer has been expanding his retail footprint in the wake of Sandbridge Capital’s acquisition of a majority stake in the company in May 2016 from Japan’s Stripe International. Stripe retains a minority stake. In 2018, the company plans to open a store in Beijing Sanlitun in the first half; in Miami in the second half, and two women's concessions in Japan.In 2017, the company opened its first store in Europe, located in Milan’s Via Gesù, in April, followed by London in July. The company has also doubled the size of its New York boutique and opened in Beijing; in Shanghai Reel; in Shanghai IFC, and four stores in South Korea, in Seoul and Busan.There are a total of 28 stores today and a unit in Chengdu will open in November. “We went from 16 to 29 stores in 18 months,” Browne said.There are 300 wholesale accounts for men’s wear and 100 for women’s wear, a number that is expected to increase to 150 for spring 2018. Browne is targeting more than 200 wholesale accounts for his women's line for the end of 2018.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.