Who needs an advertising campaign when Cardi B is a walking billboard for your collection?
The rapper made headlines at Paris Fashion Week by strolling the streets in a Schiaparelli tweed jacket with gold leather breast patches, and a sculptural gold headpiece that covered half her face. She later dropped into the brand’s Place Vendôme salon to check out creative director Daniel Roseberry’s spring collection.
“She’s been so into it, which has been so cool,” the designer enthused. The brand is undoubtedly having a moment: In addition to dressing Bella Hadid at the Cannes Film Festival in a daring cutout gown with an oversize gold lung pendant, Schiaparelli scored the cover of U.S. Vogue’s October issue with Lorde.
But Roseberry doesn’t want to be known just as a red-carpet designer. This season, he’s focused on bringing Schiaparelli to a wider audience, as the label opens its first permanent store outside Paris, at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.
“For me, this collection is about meeting the moment of where the brand is right now,” he told WWD in a preview. The lineup catered to the two faces of the Schiaparelli customer: the city-dweller, with chic black-and-white outfits, and the holiday-maker, whose colorful wardrobe contains a wealth of Surrealist twists.
Roseberry beefed up the daywear with shirts and sweatshirts embroidered with tassels and an ear, pierced with an actual hoop earring. There were humorous takes on bourgeois staples like leather-trimmed skirt suits, the traditional horsebit fastenings replaced by thick chains embellished with gilt noses, mouths and ears.
These coexisted with more eccentric designs, like a cropped jean jacket with conical breasts, an inflatable leather parka, and most amusing of all, an embroidered bathrobe for the fictional Hotel Schiaparelli, complete with terry cloth slippers with gilded toes.
“I really wanted to diversify, and this is very much playing to the strengths of my training at Thom Browne, where we were able to really scale the business,” said Roseberry, who was previously design director of men’s and women’s collections at the New York-based brand.
He’s encouraged by the response to the fall collection, which is selling briskly. “It’s so exciting, because the strongest pieces are the pieces that are selling first. I think people are coming to us so fatigued by generic notions of luxury,” he said. “There’s definitely a customer who is looking for something that’s going to stand out.”
Even Cardi B’s nipple jacket is proving popular. “Our sales team, not knowing if people were going to be intimidated by the nipple bijou, produce this jacket both ways, and actually, no one wants the one without the nipples,” Roseberry reported. As the world wearily emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s heartening to see that a sense of humor is still very much in fashion.