Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear
September 10, 2012 New York
Manny Mashouf wants to take Bebe in a new direction. Gone are the cheap fabrics and the overtly sexy attitude from the past few years. In their place are high-end European and Japanese threads and, in Mashouf's words, a "sexual playfulness." Showing the looks at an art gallery, each framed in its own porthole as if they were portraits, was another way of signaling an elevated mood. The looks were certainly more sophisticated than what we've come to expect from this brand—the price point will be higher, too—but it's unclear what the new point of view will be. A belted white shirtdress, buttoned to the collar, looked crisp and cool, while an unadorned leather coat in pale pink was positively uptown. Mashouf is betting on regaining some of the core customers Bebe lost when the brand went down-market. The next step will be defining more precisely who that customer is.