To celebrate its 130th anniversary, Hanro of Switzerland will unveil a commemorative exhibition and capsule collection in its Meatpacking District store.
This story first appeared in the November 6, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Elettra Wiedemann, Melissa George, Thandie Newton, Zachary Quinto, Taryn Manning, Kelly Rutherford and Katie Lee are expected at tonight’s opening of “130 Years of Dressing the World’s Most Seductive Women,” which will feature contemporary artists’ takes on Hanro’s more noteworthy moments, such as Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven Year Itch” and Nicole Kidman in “Eyes Wide Shut.” On view through Jan. 15, the show highlights work by Izak Zenou, Esther Bayer, Petra Dufkova, Marc-Antoine Coulon and Miles McMillan.
In an interview Wednesday, Jan Snodgrass, president of Hanro USA, and Stephan Hohmann, managing director of Hanro International, said the limited-edition line is as much about renewing the brand as it is about honoring its heritage. Hanro of Switzerland, which is actually based in Austria about 50 yards from the Swiss border, called on its seamstresses in Switzerland to embroider a body dress that is a replica of an archival piece created in 1924. To underscore the label’s current relevance, Snodgrass and Hohmann noted that Jane Fonda wore the brand for her role in “This Is Where I Leave You.” Samples have also been pulled for Sandra Bullock’s character in the upcoming George Clooney-produced film “Our Brand Is Crisis” and Patricia Field requested Hanro styles for “Stealing Chanel,” a feature film due out next year. “We are very proud that so many people from art and society wear Hanro. We got connected with Elettra through her shopping at the store in the Meatpacking District,” Snodgrass said.
With seven freestanding stores, as well as distribution in such retailers as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods and Le Bon Marché, Hanro plans to open an Amsterdam boutique, its first one in the Netherlands, in February. The company has seen double-digit percentage gains in the last four years, thanks in part to the strength of the U.S. market, which accounts for one-third of Hanro’s total volume, Hohmann said.
A main reason why Hanro opened a Meatpacking District store was due to the Whitney Museum of American Art’s plans to move into the neighborhood. Hanro plans to feature more exhibitions in its New York store in the coming months. With 25-foot ceilings, the store’s interior could potentially become its own art canvas, according to Snodgrass and Hohmann, who said they are in talks with a few artists about such a prospect.