Yigal Azrouël is getting in on the contemporary game with a new label, called Cut 25. The line bows with a capsule collection for fall, available exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Intermix in July, followed by a full launch — and expanded distribution — for resort. “This is, for me, more young and hip — a downtown kind of girl,” says Azrouël. “She’s edgier, more fun and young.” And, to be sure, there is effortless drapery and intriguingly cut leathers aplenty.

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Cut 25 is priced significantly lower than his main collection (wholesale prices are $53 to $365 versus $145 to $900) and has its roots in Y Yigal, a similarly priced, now-defunct line of draped jersey dresses he launched in 2008. Rather than revamp that, Azrouël and his business partner, Donata Minelli Yirmiyahu, opted to rebrand it as Cut 25. “It was really about evolving it into something bigger,” says Minelli Yirmiyahu. “Now it’s a comprehensive sportswear collection.”

For the lineup, Azrouël works his urban palette — neutrals, blacks and whites — as well as his trademark cuts and nonchalance. A T-shirt dress is seamless, save for dropped shoulders, while ultradraped frocks hug the body loosely to one side or feature sexy cutouts by the shoulders. Blazers, with leather trims and patches, are equally louche. A street-chic edge comes courtesy of body-con dresses with bold zipper details, a sleeveless army coat or allover sequined pants. Cut 25 also boasts convertible garments such as an oversize sweater that can be worn two ways or a striped top with snap embellishments to adjust the silhouette.

Minelli Yirmiyahu adds first-year projections are $3 million and they have plans for a Cut 25 store to open next year. Their ideal locale: New York’s SoHo. As for the name? “I always use the word ‘cut,’’’ explains Azrouël. “I loved the simplicity of it. And 25 is my lucky number.”

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