Current Affairs

Emily Current and Meritt Elliott

Emily Current and Meritt Elliot are, without a doubt, fashion's It girls. They launched denim label Current/Elliot (they left in 2012), are stylists to countless A-list celebrities, design a so-hot home collection for Pottery Barn Teen, and wrote a book called A Denim Story. Now the duo are back to designing their own fashion label, and it's aptly named The Great. The Great, which launched in time of Spring 2015, is a multi-category contemporary label with a "whimsical Americana" aesthetic. "It’s sort of like a more feminine, charming Ralph Lauren. We really have this American aesthetic with heritage workwear, army denim, t-shirts, fleece... like, these classic fabrications [that have] our take on them in terms of proportion and detail," said Meritt Elliott of the new label, adding, "A lot of times people use this term 'American wonderland.' We love that, too; it kind of feels like a wonderland." 

 

WWD

It's been 105 years since Women's Wear Daily printed its first paper, but times, they are a-changin', and in this new age WWD is dropping the "Daily." Like many fashion publications, including Lucky and W, WWD is going to scale back on the print side of the house and focus on its web presence. Starting the week of April 29, WWD will print a weekly publication. The paper will still feature the same types of industry news stories--retail news, original profiles and photography, party coverage, op-eds--while the website cover up-to-the-minute news and updates. 

 

DEliAs

And in case you missed it, online fashion retailer dEliA*s is no more as of last week. dEliA*s, which was similar to Charlotte Russe or Wet Seal, launched in 1993 and pretty much ruled the decade. Sales have declined in recent years, though, and in November of last year dEliA*s was delisted from the Nasdaq Global Market. Some dEliA*s brick and mortar locations are still liquidating merchandise, as well as store fixtures, so if you have one in your area you might want to check it out. Goodbye, dEliA*s; we'll miss your denim maxi skirts, daisy prints, and stacked eyeshadow pots.

Rachel Zoe

Subscription boxes are a wildly popular service that allow buyers access to products or services that they may not otherwise be privy to (these days that includes anything from snacks to shoes), and now celebrity stylist/designer Rachel Zoe is getting in on this growing industry--Box of Style by The Zoe Report is a Zoe-curated quarterly subscription box service, and the first boxes are shipping out later this month. Members pay $100 per quarter, or $350 for a full year, to receive a box that's valued over $300 and contains one $100-plus item (revealed in advance by the team at The Zoe Report) as well as clothing, beauty products, accessories, or home and lifestyle goods, which will not be divulged ahead of time. A rep for The Zoe Report claims the boxes will include both up-and-coming as well as established brands, so subscribers could potentially be hanging some very high-end gear in their closets. 

J.Crew Paris

The first Paris, France J. Crew store opened its doors on Friday, just as Paris Fashion Week was getting under way. The 1,800-square feet space is located in Paris's Marais neighborhood, just a few doors down from a Carven store, and is strictly devoted to womenswear (standalone stores for menswear and Crew Cuts will open eventually). In addition to J. Crew staples like cashmere sweaters, sequin skirts, and striped Oxford shirts, the new store offers its Parisian shoppers a bit of home through its merchandise and decor: exclusive designs from the label Saint James, artwork from a Parisian gallery, pieces from the high-end J.Crew Collection (available in only five boutiques worldwide), and a nonfunctional mailbox near the entrance, as well as Swarovski appliqués of French “motifs” (the Eiffel Tower, snails, mustaches) and phrases like carrément (absolutely) and bisous (kisses) on a few of the pieces.

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Tom Ford Fall 2015

While fashion heavy hitters such as Marc Jacobs, Gareth Pugh, Gucci, and FIDM Alumna Monique Lhuillier unveiled their Fall 2015 collections in one of the four fashion capitals, Tom Ford had his runway show for his A/W 2015 collection in the City of Angels. Ford held the star-studded event at Milk Studios, where famous faces such as Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora, Nicole Richie, and Miley Cyrus to name a few, sat front row to get a first look at the collection. So why exactly did Ford skip the excitement and bustle of Fashion Week in New York or London for a runway show on the west coast? Two words--the Oscars. "This year, my show in London would have fallen the day after the Oscars," the designer said in an interview with InStyle. "How much global press do you think you're going to get for a fashion show in London on the same day that the Oscar pictures come out?" In addition to the media coverage issue, Ford always dresses several stars for the Oscars and wanted to make sure he was available for fittings. No matter the reason, we're hoping Ford's presence will help to resurrect more fashion week activity in Los Angeles.

Juice Beauty

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle brand Goop have entered into a "long-term business venture" with organic skincare brand Juice Beauty. Paltrow will become a shareholder in the company and act as its creative director for makeup. The first product range under her direction will launch later this year. And while Paltrow has taken on a role at Juice Beauty, the beauty line will, in return, invest in Goop, a deal which was finalized in January. To round out the whole deal, Goop and Juice Beauty are working together to develop a skincare collection which is set to hit the market in March of next year. 

 

Karl Lagerfeld

If you thought that at age eighty-one designer Karl Lagerfeld would start to wind down his impressive career, you thought wrong. It's just been announced that Lagerfeld will present Italian fashion house Fendi's debut "Haute Fourrure" couture collection at the Paris shows this summer, and as the name suggests, it will be fur-centric. "Haute fourrure will set a differentiation between Fendi fur and the rest," stated Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari. But here's the thing, Lagerfeld isn't just the creative director for Fendi, he's also the creative director for French fashion house Chanel and will be showing the Chanel Haute Couture collection in Paris this summer as well. Are you following? That's two couture collections, plus the ready-to-wear collections, plus his eponymous line. We're seriously exhausted just typing about it.

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Nike x Sacai

When you think of Nike you don't typically think about fashion--sneakers, yes, fashion no. Yoga pants or even a track suit, perhaps, but definitely not fashion. But in an effort to keep up with other athletic brands that are dabbling in fashion (Adidas and Athleta come to mind), Nike has recruited Japanese label Sacai, designed by Comme des Garçon's Chitose Abe, to help create a womenswear collection. "Our excitement to work with Chitose was really born from her unique understanding of form and silhouette,” Kurt Parker, vice president and creative director of Nike Sportswear said in an interview. “Many of her collections have inspired the design team at Nike, through her elegant and graceful application of materials." And Abe's designs for the Nike x Sacia collection are nothing if not inspiring. She's taken nylon from Nike's 30-year old Windrunner jacket and reimagined it into a skirt; a hoodie is given a playful peplum and side openings. Stay tuned--we have a feeling this 8-piece collection is going to be an unbelievably creative and exciting take on "athleisure."

 

H&M Loves Coachella

When it comes to music festivals, it's a little hard to top Coachella. The proof? Fast fashion retailer H&M has designed a collection of festival-appropriate apparel and it's called H&M Loves Coachella. H&M has been a sponsor of Coachella for the past six years, but this is the first time the Swedish-based retail giant has actually partnered with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on a project. "The H&M Loves Coachella Collection really brings to life the spirit of the festival, whether you’re there or somewhere else around the world," said Ann-Sofie Johannson, H&M's head of design and new development. Priced from $4.95 to $49.95, the H&M Loves Coachella collection debuts in 350 North American stores on March 19, then globally and online one week later on the 26th.

Lucky CCO Eva Chen

We've been a little confused by everything we reported about Lucky magazine over the past year (first Conde Nast was dumping the mag, then it was partnering with BeachMint, then there was something called The Lucky Group...???) but the latest news involving the glossy (can we still call it a glossy?) is pretty clear, and pretty fabulous--the launch of Lucky Shops. Lucky Shops is an editorial site with a content-meets-commerce concept, meaning you can actually buy the pieces in each article without ever having to leave the site. Or if you want, you can just shop, without reading anything. And if you're looking for style advice, there's plenty of that as well. The site just launched a week ago, so there are only 1,000 products and about 200 brands to start, but we've no doubt Lucky Shops is going to grow into something incredible. Oh, and if you're looking for Luckymag.com it doesn't exist anymore; type it in and you'll be redirected to Luckyshops.com.

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Designer Oscar de la Renta is an industry icon who will never be forgotten, certainly not by anyone who loves fashion. But the designer will also be remembered by an entire city because New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is honoring the late designer by naming a street after him. "No one is more deserving than him of that," said de Blasio. "He will forever be ingrained in the fabric of the city." Mayor de Blasio, pictured above, signed the bill, which renames 56 thoroughfares and public places in the city, on February 5. What isn't specified in the bill is the exact location of the renamed street, but we're pretty sure that info will be popping up on social media soon.

 

Derek Lam x Athleta sketch

Athleta, Gap Inc.'s fitness apparel brand, is partnering with Derek Lam 10 Crosby to create a lifestyle collection., a match made in athletic wear heaven. Lam, whose own 10 Crosby line is geared toward an active lifestyle, said in a statement, "Our customer leads a very active lifestyle. Fitness is very much a part of it and we always strive to create clothing which works in her life. Athleta's expertise in performance fabrics and fibers has offered us a really exciting opportunity to create a collection which complements perfectly what we do for Derek Lam 10 Crosby." The collection will include everything from leggings to jackets to dresses, and will be available on the Athleta website and select stores, and starting in September 2015 at the NYC 10 Crosby boutique. This is the first collaboration of its kind for Athleta, and judging from the above sketch, it's going to be a good one. 

 

Bluemercury

Washington D.C.-based boutique beauty chain Bluemercury has just been scooped up by Macy's Inc. for a cool $210 million. Bluemercury, a luxury beauty product retailer that calls Sephora its number one competitor, has 60 stores in 18 states, including California and New York. Bluemercury carries top beauty brands like Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, Nars, and Oribe, as well as its own proprietary skincare line called M-61, which founders Mary Malcolm Beck and Barry Beck developed. The boutique chain is growing at a rapid pace, almost doubling the number of stores in the last seven years. "We are excited to continue our aggressive expansion of Bluemercury while simultaneously leveraging Macy’s leadership in omnichannel technology, supply chain and retail operations," said Mary Malcolm Beck of the acquisition. With any luck, you might just find a Bluemercury popping up in your town.

 

Andy Warhol Converse

If you're at all into Andy Warhol you'll love this collaboration between the Andy Warhol Foundation and Converse (yes, as in the sneakers). The all-star sneaker capsule collection includes both high and low tops featuring the artist's most famous works, like his Campbell soup print. "With this collection, we aim to celebrate and foster the innovative artistic expression that’s intrinsic to both Converse and Andy Warhol," said Converse All Star Design Director Damion Silver. "Andy Warhol famously created art inspired by American pop culture icons, and was a pioneer in utilizing the Chuck Taylor All Star as a blank canvas for his work. From this shared creative history grew our collaboration with Warhol." The 14-piece Converse x Andy Warhol collection, available in stores and online now, ranges from $35 to $90 and includes three T-shirts as well as the sneakers. 

Kate Spade Saturday

If you're a fan of Kate Spade Saturday, Kate Spade's younger, more casual offshoot, you may be disappointed to learn that the company is shuttering all nineteen of its stores, as well as all twelve Jack Spade brick and mortar locations. The news comes as a surprise, as Saturday is only two-years old and as of late last year was still opening new stores. Still, weak sales couldn't cover the costs of promoting the label, and that's bad for business. The stores will close gradually over the first half of 2015, but there is a bright side to all of this--neither label is disappearing completely. According to the company, Kate Spade Saturday will remain its own label and merchandise will be sold in Kate Spade stores. As for Jack Spade, Kate Spade & Company's twenty-two year old menswear label, a statement from the company said the label would "pursue a new business model" and "expand its e-commerce platform." 

 

Piperlime

We suspect a major liquidation sale is on the horizon because Gap is shutting down Piperlime, both the e-commerce site and its one brick and mortar located in New York. And the sale will be taking place fairly quickly as it's being reported that Piperlime will be finito by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Piperlime is the smallest of Gap Inc.'s brands, bringing in less than one percent of the sixteen billion dollar revenue across all six of the company's brands, which include Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athlete. The website sells designer labels such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, and Haute Hippie, as well as more moderately priced brands like Tinsley Road, Eight Sixty, and its own Piperlime Collection. We're sad to see this one go; the free shipping and returns (no minimums!) made this one of our favorite shopping sites.

 

  Kendall and Kylie Jenner

Kendall and Kylie Jenner sure know how to stay busy. The teen sisters have already designed collections for Madden Girl and PacSun, and now the girls could possibly be collaborating with British retailer Topshop. Apparently the duo are in talks with Topshop CEO Sir Philip Green, although neither side is confirming or denying a design collaboration. If the rumors are true, the Jenner sisters would be joining model Kate Moss and superstar Beyoncé as celebrity designers for the retailer. Stay tuned!

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Target Ava & Viv Plus-Size Line
Curvy girls looking for fabulous fashion at a great price can rejoice because Target, yes Target, is launching an in-house plus-size line called Ava & Viv. "We are constantly scouting for new business opportunities and this market is growing," stated Target's senior vice president of merchandising Stacia Andersen. "We felt it was time to enter this market in a really strong way." The timing is really what's key here. After decades of offering a less than spectacular selection of plus-sized clothing, not to mention the recent complaints about selling the plus-sized pieces from the upcoming Lily Pulitzer collab exclusively online, a collection for curvy girls was long overdue. 

The first collection for Ava & Viv has 90 pieces, including everything from denim to work wear, and will be updated monthly. Ava & Viv will be sold in every Target store, with its own floor space, as well as Target.com, making it completely accessible. And since Target commissioned popular plus-size bloggers Nicolette Mason, Gabi Gregg, and Chastity Garner to consult on the line and model for the lookbook, the line will no doubt get plenty of promotion. Ava & Viv arrives in stores in mid-February and online on February 22. It's about time!

Sarah Jessica Parker

The iconic Fendi Baguette bag is getting a makeover, and some of the world's most famous stars are the ones giving it. To celebrate the opening of a new Fendi store in New York city, celebrities, including Sarah Jessica Parker (whose Carrie character on SATC helped push the bag to its covetable status), singer Rihanna, model Jordan Dunn, and The Man Repeller's Leandra Medine, are putting their own stylish spins on the Italian fashion house's most popular bag. The remixed bags will be on display at the new store, located at 598 Madison Avenue, from February 13 to March 13, and will be auctioned off for charity after that. 

 

The Daily Front Row FLA

The Daily Front Row hosted its first annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards (FLAs) on January 22 to celebrate the fashion elite and their contributions to Hollywood style. "The Daily adores the glamour and influence of the awards season and we believe that the red carpet is the most powerful extension of the fashion runways. We are delighted to premiere the first-annual Fashion Los Angeles Award, complete with a special Hollywood edition of our oversize glossy, honoring the style stars who matter most right now. We plan to produce this event and this Hollywood issue every year from here on," said the mag's editor-in-chief Brandusa Niro. Among the honorees, Jeremy Scott for Womenswear Designer of the Year, Christian Louboutin for Shoe Designer of the Year, August Getty for Emerging Designer of the Year, and Gigi Hadid for Model of the Year. 

 

Vince Camuto

Footwear designer Vince Camuto passed away last week at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. The designer, who founded the Camuto Group, co-founded Nine West, and had licensing deals and partnerships with BCBG Max Azria, Lucky Brand shoes, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Tory Burch, and many more, once said, "We do shoes for just about everyone, I don't know if we're allowed to say, but any better shoe, we're making it." Camuto's eponymous footwear line has 30 U.S. stores and 62 international stores. "Retire isn't in my vocabulary," he said in 2013. Camuto was 78 years old. 

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid is among a handful of young models who are destined for supermodeldom, so it makes sense that the nineteen-year old California beauty has just inked a contract with all-American beauty brand Maybelline. The news came as a surprise--literally, the contract was wrapped in a box and given to her as a present to open while at a meeting with her agent--and naturally Hadid is excited about the deal. "In middle school, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup," she recalls. "I secretly bought Maybelline’s SuperStay 24HR concealer at CVS. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world." Hadid's first Maybelline ad campaign will launch this October. 

 

John Galliano Maison Margiela

The fashion world has been waiting for John Galliano's debut Maison Margiela collection since the announcement of his creative director appointment last October, especially since it's his first since his infamous dismissal from Dior four years ago. The big moment came last Monday in London, when Galliano unveiled his inaugural collection during London Collections: Men. The twenty-four piece collection was marked by the designer's signature over-the-top costumes, along with the crystal-encrusted masks that Maison Margiela is famous for. "It was brilliant," said Anna Wintour, who has always shown her support for the designer. "What I loved was the mix: There was so much that we know and we love about John, but then he took the Margiela vocabulary and translated it in such an appealing and innovative way. I loved seeing all the toiles at the end where you can see all the work and the new embroidery." It sounds like Galliano's avant garde aesthetic will fit right in at Maison Margiela.

 

Sophia Amoruso

Nasty Gal founder and #GirlBoss writer Sophia Amoruso is quitting while she's on top; the CEO of the online retailer announced in a personal statement that she was resigning from the company that she started back in 2006. Amoruso has selected Sheree Waterson to take the reigns, saying, "Sheree is someone who has the experience, ability, and drive to attack our future with a four-pronged approach with elements that have never been combined in all of Nasty Gal’s history – art, commerce, purpose, and leadership." But Amoruso isn't completely leaving her baby behind; creative and brand marketing will still be reporting to her. We bid farewell to Amoruso, and wish Sheree Waterson the best of luck in her new role. 

Iris Apfel and Tavi Gevinson

Iris Apfel and Tavi Gevinson have both reached heights of fabulousness that most of us can only dream of, but they've somehow managed to to that fabulousness to the next level by starring side by side in the Alexis Bittar Spring 2015 campaign. The 93-year old fashion icon and 18-year old founder/editor of Rookie were shot by Terry Tsiolis and styled Arianne Phillips, and takes a rather palpable stand against the rampant ageism in the fashion industry. "In terms of the fashion industry, we’re selling to women who are predominantly over 35, but we’re showing them images of girls who are 19 and retouched," New York-based jeweler Bittar said in an interview with WWD. "For the campaign, we honed in on the essence of strong women who haven’t conformed." Even with the 75-year difference between them, the two ladies both look insanely cool, and we can't wait until the campaign debuts this February.

Coach menswear

As part of its massive brand refresh, American label Coach has launched a menswear line which debuted in London last week. The Fall 2015 collection featured bomber jackets, bulky shearling coats and hiker boots, as well as classic peacoats and parkas with updated details like leather accents, leopard lining, or pops of paint splatter. "New Yorkers are quite practical, and they don’t sacrifice function," said the brand's Creative Director Stuart Vevers, who added that the collection was inspired by Gus Van Zant's "My Own Private Idaho" and functional winter street style. "There are no tricks — the collection is straightforward with honest construction." 

 

Stuart Weitzman

And in other Coach news, the brand has just spent a fortune on shoes, buying shoe line Stuart Weitzman for a cool $574 million. The Stuart Weitzman footwear line is a favorite amongst bloggers, fashion insiders, and celebrities alike, so this acquisition is an important one for the label. Clearly Creative Director Stuart Vevers has a vision and for Coach and isn't stopping until the label is seen as a more legitimate luxury fashion brand. 


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