Richard Chai is finally playing the contemporary game for women. And to hear the designer tell it, the move wasn’t so much a knee-jerk response to the economic downturn — though the timing certainly doesn’t hurt — as the result of other factors. The seed was planted early last year, when the New York-based Chai began working on a limited edition collection for Target. Then, for fall 2008, he launched a men’s lineup, priced in the contemporary range, for one simple reason: His older brother, Eddy Chai, is co-owner of the downtown men’s contemporary boutique Odin. The success of the men’s launch — “In Japan, we went from four doors to 30 in one season,” says Richard — prompted him to test the waters in women’s. So for spring 2009, he placed a few lower-priced Richard Chai dresses and tops on the sales floor of the women’s shop, Pas de Deux, also owned by Eddy. “They sold out,” he says. “It was great to get that feedback. I decided this was the time to do it.”
This story first appeared in the September 3, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Move over millennials, a new generation is coming of age.
At five years old, North West, the famous daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, has captivated the digital realm with her cross-generational appeal. Without a public Instagram or YouTube channel of her own, she’s too young to fully understand what a digital footprint is. And yet, hers is already wildly popular.
We’ve watched North West grow on Instagram and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and magazines — here, she poses for her first solo cover. Her distinct fashion sense belies her age, and lately, so does her eye for makeup.
West, whether she knows it or not, is at the forefront of a generation that is highly connected, engaged with fashion and beauty and individualistic in style. Called Alpha, signifying a new beginning, this age group is unlike any the world has ever seen.
And combined with Gen Z, their slightly older counterparts, their numbers are strong. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2025, people aged 17 and under will comprise 43 percent of the U.S. population. Already, they are significant consumers of beauty: According to NPD, 69 percent of Gen Zers use color cosmetics and 68 percent have a skin-care regimen.
With numbers like that, Alphas and Gen Z are expected to have a sociocultural and economic impact equal to that of their parents or older siblings, the Millennials.
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Report: @alexa_writes 📸: @jucophoto
set design: @lizzielang
hair styling: @chrisappleton1
Today we honor an icon, Karl Lagerfeld. Read WWD’s tribute to the late designer, whose prolific career has influenced fashion and culture overall for the last 60 years. Link in bio.
Following the news of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing, Chanel said it has appointed studio director Virginie Viard to continue the legendary designer's work.
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Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris.
The designer, one of the most prolific, admired and multi-talented fashion figures of the modern age, worked tirelessly until the end, giving instructions to his teams for the Fendi fall ready-to-wear collection, due to take place in Milan on Thursday.