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Designers, Observers Weigh in on Separate Men’s Fashion Week

Milan has one. Paris has one. A lot of people think it’s high time New York had one, too — a dedicated men’s fashion week, that is. “I’ve been a member of the CFDA for 10 years and we’ve been trying to figure out how to do that for 10 years,” said designer John Varvatos of creating a dedicated New York men’s fashion week. “If we’re going to try it, we have a better shot today than ever before, because we have a bigger design contingent.” Currently the industry settles for a small share of New York Fashion Week, held in February and September and dominated by women’s wear. It was also announced that this year’s edition of Fashion’s Night Out, scheduled for Sept. 10, will be preceded by a public fashion show at Lincoln Center on Sept. 7. The open-air show is being billed as the largest of its kind ever to be held in New York, and it will take place right in the heart of Lincoln Center at Josie Robertson Plaza. The show will feature trends from the fall collection modeled by 200 models in front of an audience of 1,500 — taking up the entire area between the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall and David H. Koch Theater. It will be just steps away from Damrosch Park, which will become the official home of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this September, though those invite-only shows will feature spring 2011 designs. Vogue and SPEC Entertainment will produce the public fashion show.

Erin Fetherston Tapped as Juicy Couture Guest Designer

Erin Fetherston, a favorite designer of actresses such as Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway, Winona Ryder and Cameron Diaz, has been tapped as guest designer and creative consultant at Juicy Couture. A California native, Fetherston plans to design the Juicy Couture line until the end of 2011, which will encompass the summer-fall 2011 and holiday 2011 collections. She begins May 1. Fetherston, known for her feminine, whimsical and ethereal designs, will get the ball rolling with a few exclusive limited edition pieces for holiday 2010. Fetherston will continue to design her six-year-old namesake designer collection. Over at Gap, who’s launching another major pants initiative, was the unveiling of the new men’s and women’s Premium Pant collection this week at Milk Studios in New York. Available in stores in August and ranging in price from $49.50 to $59.50, the collection was inspired by “the big part of life that is work,” as Gap executive vice president of design Patrick Robinson put it. And Seven For All Mankind has turned to the world of interior design for its latest collaboration. The VF Corp.-owned premium denim label next month will introduce the Jonathan Adler for Seven For All Mankind collection exclusively at its branded stores in the U.S. The limited edition collection is broken down into three themes — Deluxe, Rustic and Pop — with a men’s and women’s look for each, giving the line a total of six jeans and six tops.

Robert Fairchild is Center Stage

When Robert Fairchild enters a room, it is initially hard to pinpoint what makes him different. Dressed in pale gray Uniqlo jeans, a red-check shirt and scuffed white Clae kicks, his floppy brown hair falling casually across his forehead, he has the fresh-faced politeness of a young man raised far from the cynicism of big city life. His smile is bright, his handshake firm and his eagerness palpable. Casual clothes aside, the 22-year-old could be a recent college graduate interviewing for a job. But his regal posture and physical confidence belie his quiet first impression. Fairchild (no relation to the publishing group family) is one of the youngest jewels in the New York City Ballet’s carat-heavy company crown, a fact that becomes readily apparent the second he starts trying on the selection of off-duty dance-inspired looks culled for the day’s shoot.

Macy’s Eyes Herald Square Makeover

Macy’s Herald Square is about to get a facelift. According to sources, construction plans entail a redesign of the 34th Street facade and entrances, and a long-overdue overhaul of the infrastructure, from the electrical work to the bathrooms. Work could start this year, and in the years ahead, could progress to selling floors, depending on the economy and business. In the height of the recession, Macy’s officials cut the capital budget and pulled the plug on much work that was to be implemented at Herald Square. Macy’s total annual capital expenditure budget is not yet back to the historical highs of $800 million, but executives said it would be by 2012. And in London, Gucci has made a splash in Covent Garden here with the launch of a Gucci Icon-Temporary flash sneaker store, which opened today alongside the streetwear boutiques, cafes and bookshops that line Earlham Street. The store follows the openings of Gucci’s Icon-Temporary flash stores in New York and Miami last year. It was also reported this week that Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. has signed a lease for a new Uniqlo store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. A spokeswoman said an opening date has not been established, adding that it’s unlikely to happen this year. The 89,340-square-foot flagship will be located at 666 Fifth Avenue.

Smashbox Cosmetics Said in Play

Smashbox Cosmetics, the brand founded by the great-grandsons of legendary Hollywood makeup artist Max Factor, is said to be close to signing a deal with a buyer. Smashbox’s prowess in fast-growing retail channels, particularly TV shopping, and its presence in open-sell store formats, including Ulta, Sephora and Macy’s Impulse Beauty concept, make the company an attractive target for established beauty firms struggling to untether their businesses from department stores. At BCBG, fragrance is back in focus — even as the company itself is seemingly for sale. The Vernon, Calif.-based fashion house signed a licensing agreement earlier this month with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based New Wave Fragrances LLC to create a signature BCBG Max Azria women’s fragrance due to be introduced next March. Also in beauty, Essie Cosmetics has met its Sugar Daddy, so to speak. L’Oréal USA announced Wednesday afternoon it made a deal to acquire Essie Cosmetics, one of the largest independent nail polish companies in the beauty industry, for an undisclosed amount. Essie is best known for its wide array of nail polish colors and its quirky names, such as No Prenup, Limo-Scene and the aforementioned Sugar Daddy, a light, sheer pink.

Fairchild Appoints Schenck VP, Chief Revenue Officer

Rolling Stone publisher Will Schenck is joining Fairchild Fashion Group as vice president and chief revenue officer. At FFG, Schenck will oversee revenue across the company’s portfolio of properties, including WWD, WWD.com, WWD Beauty Biz, Footwear News, Menswear, Fairchild Summits, Fairchild Books and trade shows. Schenck will also take over the responsibilities of outgoing WWD publisher Chris Guilfoyle, who joined the company three years ago from Every Day With Rachael Ray, where she was launch publisher. The appointment is effective May 10, and Schenck will report to Gina Sanders, president and chief executive officer of FFG. At Fairchild, Schenck will be responsible for creating cross-platform and individual programs to grow revenue, as well as identifying new revenue streams and line extensions.

Coach to Enter France, U.K.

Coach is ready to play in Europe. The American accessories behemoth, known for its accessible luxury positioning, is expanding beyond North America and Asia by partnering with department store operator Printemps for France. Late Monday, Coach also signed an agreement in principle to form a joint venture with English men’s wear firm Hackett Ltd. for distribution in the U.K., Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Locations in Spain, Portugal and the U.K. — including a London flagship — are expected to bow in the next 12 months.

Vera Wang and David’s Bridal Form Bridal’s Newest Union

It may be the ultimate in aspirational design and marketing. Vera Wang, high priestess of high-profile, ultratony wedding glamour, has signed a long-term agreement with David’s Bridal, mainstream mecca for the proletarian bride. The pact promises to bring the designer’s renowned bridal aesthetic — and the magical aura that comes with the best kind of celebrity endorsement, the genuine kind — to a mass audience. The name of the collection remains under wraps until its trademark is secured. It was also reported that last week’s run of bridal shows saw an uptick. “It was like happy days are here again,” according to Mark Ingram, whose signature New York boutique is a favorite haunt of fashion-minded brides. This time around, designers ramped up the fashion quota with an array of colors, geared for sophisticated brides keen on making their weddings more of a party than a traditional reception with cake-cutting photo ops and bouquet throwing. Several executives noted the assortment of more formal gowns adorned with rosettes, distressed flower details, silver beading and other flourishes seemed to indicate a turnaround in demand is near.
See all the collections from bridal fashion week here >>

Coachella: Behind the Music

There were concerts? Based on the turnout at parties surrounding the Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif., last weekend, it seems a few of the fashion-focused kids may have missed that memo. But who could blame them when there was a full schedule of pool parties hosted or sponsored by brands including Diesel, Lacoste, Sophomore and Express. Rosario Dawson, Peaches Geldof, Penn Badgley and Vampire Weekend hit Diesel’s bash held at a Spanish-style home. Devendra Banhart hobbled around the estate on crutches, which allowed him to observe the crowd, rather than participate. “Everyone’s handicapped,” he said. “I’m physically handicapped, but everyone else is intoxicated.” Lacoste drew Kristen Stewart, Rachel Bilson, Alexa Chung and Emile Hirsch to a ranch house for burgers and swimming with inflatable crocodile toys, while New York designers Chrissie Miller and Madeleine Von Froomer invited pals Alexander Wang, Katy Perry and Lindsay and Ali Lohan to another soiree for an event Kanon Vodka hosted to celebrate their Sophomore collection.
For more photos of the bands, celebrities and party scene from Coachella click here >>

Jason Wu’s Spring Break

Designer Jason Wu chronicled his most recent vacation for WWD. He said of his trip: “I arrived in Montevideo, Uruguay, to beautiful, sunny weather. After grabbing our bags, my partner, Gustavo Rangel, and I set off for José Ignacio, the Hamptons of Uruguay. When we finally arrived at the Estancia Vik José Ignacio, we were greeted by the resort’s two friendly resident dogs. It’s a much more intimate setup than I’d anticipated, with only 12 rooms in the entire retreat — each of which is named after a local artist behind that particular suite’s decoration. I stayed in the Marcelo Legrand room, a lovely space complete with hand-laid wooden flooring and a mix of modern and traditional Uruguayan decor. I especially loved Legrand’s mural of ‘reversible’“reversible art, which includes over 40 of the artist’s colorful, vibrant works in miniature.”.
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