Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 04/13/2015

Call it the Amal effect — gloves are in.

At January’s Golden Globes Awards, the newly minted Mrs. Clooney made her first major red-carpet appearance wearing a pair of elbow-length evening gloves with her Dior Haute Couture gown, and the reaction was immediate. Following the event, the term “opera glove” saw an increase of $104,770 in earned media performance — the dollar value of social influence, based on number of impressions, engagement with content, quality of the publisher and audience size — according to digital marketer Tribe Dynamics. And whether coincidence or not, designers quickly jumped on the lucrative trend, with elbow-length gloves appearing at some of this season’s biggest shows, including Balenciaga, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Oscar de la Renta and Moschino.

This story first appeared in the April 13, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

But while the dramatic accessory looks at home on red carpet and runway, will it translate to the everyday consumer?

“The glove has been creeping up for two seasons,” said Claire Distenfeld, owner of Fivestory in New York. “It was brought to the saturation point this season and we’re going to pick up a bunch.”

Among buyers’ favorite glove offerings: Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel, Ralph Lauren and Dries Van Noten. “They make a great dramatic statement on the runway…[and] you’ll always have that woman who wants to have her own red-carpet moment or translate the runway to her closet,” said Neiman Marcus’ fashion director Ken Downing. But while gloves are undeniably statement-making, practicality may be another issue.

“Gloves and iPhones don’t always translate to real life,” Downing added. “We all need our fingertips.”

Paging Apple — may we suggest the iGlove?