Byline: Leonard McCants

NEW YORK — Yigal Azrouel can’t seem to sit still.
After introducing collections of swimwear and men’s wear in recent seasons, the four-year-old company is planning two new projects for the near future. The company is close to signing a lease for a boutique in SoHo and is launching a high-end eveningwear collection called Yigal-Azrouel Couture for fall.
The evening collection will make its debut on the runway Feb. 12 at 1 p.m., alongside Yigal-Azrouel’s fall women’s and men’s sportswear lines, during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Set to wholesale between $800 and $3,000, the 25-piece collection will be targeted to about 20 retailers nationwide.
“Things have fallen into place,” said Donata Minelli, director of the company. “We had a small introduction of evening at this price point for spring and we had an amazing reaction.”
Looks from the eveningwear line include a silk chiffon blouson matched with asymmetrical skirts and a silk herringbone car coat with a mink collar, borrowing ideas and themes from the signature collection such as sexy shapes and body-conscious silhouettes.
Fabrics for the debut collection include embroidered silk chiffon, metallic lace, silk jersey and mink.
“The collection is refined but still young at heart,” Minelli said. “With Couture it has a wearability but it’s a place where Yigal can explore some of his fantasies and experiment.”
Minelli said she has not set a business plan for the eveningwear line.
“We want Couture to be big enough that it is noticed but small enough for it to be special,” she said. “We’re not really in that mind frame. It’s a smart way to start. You really can’t force minimums or fight for representation in stores.”
The company is also negotiating a lease on Greene Street in SoHo for its first boutique, which Minelli expects could open by May, adding that a contract should be signed “within a matter of days.” The space would house all of the company’s labels.
“That will be it for the time being,” she said. “We obviously have ideas for [new ventures] but we need to focus on what we have.”

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