NEW YORK — This season, New York Fashion Week will feature several fresh faces, including Tia Cibani making her debut at the Atlantic Theater Sept. 5; Marissa Webb presenting her launch collection at the Box at Lincoln Center on Sept. 8, and Holmes & Yang, which, while not entirely new, is doing a presentation for the first time, also at the Box, on Sept. 12.
Several Europeans are also hoping to make their mark on the New York calendar. Case in point: English designer Louise Goldin, who showed during London Fashion Week from 2006 to 2010. Goldin, who is best known for her knits, is showing here for the first time on Sept. 12 at Made at Milk Studios. The reason? She recently married a New Yorker and relocated her business to Gotham.
Hache and Marimekko are also among the Euro imports for spring 2013.
For Marimekko, which hails from Finland and is showing at Highline Stages on Sept. 10, the decision to show in New York corresponds to the colorful brand’s retail strategy. It just unveiled a freestanding store on Boston’s Newbury Street, with plans to open additional units in Palo Alto, Calif., next month and in Los Angeles in November. A flagship opened here in the Flatiron District last October.
“We are about to build 10 stores in the next two or three years,” noted chief executive officer Mika Ihamuotila. “We want to support those stores, but also tell our fashion story in a global way, and we think New York is part of the best arena for us to do that.”
Worldwide, Marimekko has 96 stores and, last year, the brand had a total sales volume of 170 million euros, or $213 million at current exchange. The U.S. represents between 5 and 10 percent of the company’s business, according to Ihamuotila.
For Italian brand Hache, the U.S. also represents much growth opportunity. The contemporary sister brand to Ter et Bantine (both are designed by Manuela Arcari) will stage its spring 2013 show at Pier 59 Studios on Sept. 9.
“We built the success of Hache here on specialty stores,” noted David Agus, ceo of Ter et Bantine and Hache as well as parent GFM Industria SpA, sitting in the company’s Greene Street showroom. “We have about 100 accounts for Hache.”
They include Betty Reiter in Dallas, Maryam Nassir Zadeh in New York, Michael Nusskern in Newport Beach, Calif., Peoples in Atlanta and Robin Richman in Chicago. Hache has wholesale sales of $2 million here.
Agus decided to bring the label to New York Fashion Week “to enhance brand awareness; to give reason to believe [in the brand] for [the retail] client, and to support our first shop in Seoul, opening in a month in the Coex Mall.”
“The Far East market always looks to the U.S.,” he added. “We had a chance to open in Seoul. Koreans are interested in European fashion, but they also always look at New York Fashion Week.”
The next move is an obvious one for Agus — “Open a shop here,” he said. “It would be great in this area.”