GLOBAL AFFAIR: French tabloid sensation Zahia Dehar might use very little fabric for her lascivious lingerie, but she did not skimp on the decor of her couture show on Wednesday. Ponds with water lilies, little wooden bridges, cherry blossoms and golden fields of barley conjured an idyllic backdrop for her lineup of scanty little dirndls. The finale spectacle involved Dehar herself on a gigantic horse-drawn carriage, on which the designer appeared petting a baby lamb.

The come-hither couture is just the start. Dehar’s one-year-old brand is preparing to launch its first ready-to-wear line this fall. “It’s been very well received by buyers. Our plan is to have a corner in a premium department store in every major city,” asserted Tugdual Denis, the operations and sales director of Zahia, which is backed by Hong Kong-based equity fund First Mark.

This story first appeared in the January 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

With lingerie sets retailing at about $200, Denis said Zahia would compete with the likes of Agent Provocateur and Chantal Thomass.

Terry Richardson shot the current couture and the new rtw campaign. Why the rtw? “Because that’s where the money is,” said Denis. “Down the line, we want to branch out and diversify into swimwear, hosiery, potentially also cosmetics — we are talking to major licensors with a lot of interest in the brand. What we want to build is a lifestyle brand within the next few years.”

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