Oliver Peoples’ chief executive officer Rocco Basilico is settling into his role at the top, having spent his first year in office beefing up the brand’s retail operations.For this, the 28-year-old executive has earned acclaim in business media at large, this year being named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.Whilst in New York to attend the list’s celebratory mixer, as well as mark the opening of Oliver Peoples’ newest store in Brookfield Place — its fourth retail location in Manhattan — Basilico spoke with WWD about the state of the eyewear industry and the continued importance of brick-and-mortar.WWD: Oliver Peoples’ has made strides in the last year to expand its brick-and-mortar presence. Why focus on retail stores, when there is so much buzz about e-commerce?Rocco Basilico: Right now we have about 30 stores in the world, and the idea is to double that at some point. I mean, for us, we have a very different product for sure. I really still believe in physical stores, I think it’s a way to get brand awareness out there. Look at the visibility of this [Brookfield Place] store, there are thousands of people walking through here everyday.WWD: Why is there a focus on New York?R.B.: In New York we have a stronger following than in Los Angeles, and the brand was founded in L.A. In New York now we’ve covered all of the city from top to bottom, we have a store uptown, in Midtown, SoHo and now Brookfield Place. There is an allure around the brand that when you become an Oliver Peoples’ customer, you always go back. We are doing a lot to try to improve service this year, developing unique prescription lenses that are branded also.WWD: How has the retail expansion plan taken effect?R.B.: I think what we have done, we’ve begun seeing the effects in the last six months. We’ve been seeing significant growth in sales. We started this process of opening the stores and there is a point when you say, "Is this going to work or not?" Now I can definitely tell it’s working, I can tell from this quarter’s sales. We are growing double digits in the U.S., comp-store sales have grown 15 percent. Sales in general have grown 40 percent because we have more stores now. We will ideally close the year at 30 to 40 percent growth, no comp.WWD: What is next in the retail expansion plan?R.B.: We will open in Hong Kong in 2018, and after this would be in Shanghai. We are also looking in Paris, that city is a bigger market for us than New York.WWD: Do you see any opportunity in licensed goods?R.B.: We do collaborations, not licenses. We have a few more in development right now — for both Oliver Peoples and Alain Mikli. But I do not see us ever doing licensed goods.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)