PARIS — French contemporary chain A.P.C. is taking its relationship with designer Vanessa Seward one step further — by backing her signature fashion house.
This story first appeared in the May 16, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
She is to present her debut collection for the fall 2015 fashion season during Paris Fashion Week next spring, and freestanding boutiques are planned for as early as next year. The first is slated to open in Paris in September 2015, with New York City and Los Angeles among priority locations. The line will also be available for wholesale.
A.P.C. founder and owner Jean Touitou had already tapped Seward, best known for putting Azzaro back on the international fashion radar, to design five capsule collections, stocked at all of A.P.C.’s 62 stores, plus select specialty stores including Net-a-porter.
The sixth and final A.P.C. & Vanessa Seward effort is to be unveiled in September, yielding to Seward’s stand-alone label of ready-to-wear and accessories.
“There should be a place for ‘sensible luxury,’ and I’m glad to start with Vanessa Seward,” Touitou said.
A.P.C. is providing logistical and financial support to the new Seward venture. Ownership stakes and other financial terms were not disclosed.
In an interview Thursday, Seward said she would focus on creating a “chic, timeless wardrobe. I want to do clothes that you keep.”
And ones that are within reach. She said her collaboration with Touitou allowed her to use couture fabrics that take on a modern aspect, and affordable prices, when combined with cutting-edge logistics and production.
Now, with her own label, “I’m going to be able to go further with my own design identity,” Seward said, noting the range would span clothes for day and evening, plus complete assortments of shoes, bags, belts and costume jewelry right out of the starting gate.
“I’m probably gaining seven years. I’m very conscious of this,” she said, praising A.P.C.’s capabilities and Touitou’s fashion savvy.
A fixture on the Paris fashion scene, Seward exited Azzaro in 2011. She joined the company in 2002 as first assistant to the founding designer, Loris Azzaro. Following his death a year later, Seward was named creative director, relaunching and tweaking its glamorous eveningwear, including such well-known styles as the Three Rings dress.
Prior to Azzaro, Seward had design stints at Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.
A.P.C. has also done a capsule collection with Kanye West, and recently extended its denim range.