IT’S A MATCH: It was hard to hear above the chatter Thursday at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas when 30 women gathered for lunch with Joseph Altuzarra and Ruth and Tom Chapman, joint chairs of Matchesfashion.com.
Hosted by Tina Craig and Nancy Rogers, the party was held to promote the site’s same-day launch of an exclusive group of Altuzarra shirtdresses.
Dallas business is strong, said Tom Chapman, but a bigger reason for the event was that he had such a terrific visit last year with Mary Katrantzou. “I loved it,” he said. “The women here have a confidence and generosity that courses through their veins.”
Matchesfashion.com is enjoying swift growth and expects to reap 180 million pounds, or $263 million at current exchange, in sales this year, according to Ruth Chapman. U.S. sales eclipsed the U.K. last week for the first time, Tom Chapman noted.
“Oh, I buy everything there,” said jeweler Sue Gragg, sporting an intricate jacquard Gucci robe. “I look at it online and I have a gal there who helps me and I get it in two days.”
Next month, Matchesfashion.com takes over the seventh and eighth floors of London’s tallest skyscraper, the Shard, for its offices. “We’ll have 360-degree views of London,” Ruth Chapman said. “And we’ll have everyone together on two floors, which will be really nice.”
Altuzzara has done a number of similar collaborations, but going forward he’s scaling them back. “I want to make sure we are doing things that are focused on our house,” the designer said. “We are part of Kering Group now, and that has allowed us to concentrate on the categories we want to grow.”
Footwear is top-of-mind for the brand and also happened to be on his shopping list. Like many designers visiting Dallas, Altuzarra sought cowboy boots, picking up a “really simple” distressed pair at Pink’s Western World. More shopping was scheduled after lunch when he planned to check out the city’s best vintage stores — Dolly Python and Vintage Martini.
But first it was time to hobnob with the guests, who included Joyce Goss, Karla McKinley and Jessica Nowitzki.
“It’s always good to learn what the women are looking for because every market is different,” Altuzarra said.
Dallas shoppers are particularly interested in color, print, lightweight and stretch fabrics and day-to-evening dressing, he observed.
“It’s such a welcoming place,” Altuzarra said. “This is definitely making me want to come for a longer time.”