92 posts tagged "Barneys"
Uniqlo recruits from fashion, but its aims are larger than fashion. That was the overriding message at this week’s presentation of its new self-designated category: LifeWear. “Yanai-san always says Uniqlo is not sportswear or casualwear,” said the company’s design director, Naoki Takizawa. “We have a function. This is clothing for a new category.” Yanai-san is Mr. Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, and his ambitions are global. No surprise that Uniqlo’s push into the U.S. and globally in the last few years will keep going strong. The label will open more stores here in the next year, as many as 20 in 2014 alone. “It’s a very interesting approach for me,” said Takizawa, who prior to joining Uniqlo was creative director at Issey Miyake. “Fashion is a segment. But Uniqlo is design for 100 million pieces, 100 million people.”
In observance of the fact that 100 million global customers won’t follow the same trends, Uniqlo is reorganizing itself to put function at the forefront. The U.S. may go in for a different look than Japan or elsewhere, but an American customer, like a Japanese one, wants to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. She’ll appreciate the new breathable AIRism fabric (developed, according to the package, with “Toray Industries Inc.”) for the former, and Uniqlo’s successful Heattech, the product of eight years of development, for the latter. The company sees itself less as a design studio than a laboratory: developing new fibers and fabrics, competing not with other fashion companies so much as with its own past performance. “Uniqlo doesn’t need to change a lot every season,” Takizawa said. He likened its product development more to the incremental upgrades of the iPhone: first the 4, then the 5.
So for the present, Uniqlo will focus on nine categories, both established success stories (stretch denim, affordable cashmere, fleece) and new areas of interest and innovation (silk being key among them). You can expect to see and feel that change in Uniqlo stores come August. But all of this is not to say fashion is being discounted. Nicola Formichetti, who will continue in his role as the company’s creative fashion director even now that he’s been named Diesel’s creative director, styled the presentation of Fall looks to the editorial hilt. (Strong support was provided by Katsuya Kamo, the Japanese hairstylist and milliner who created the headpieces for the presentation; label brass made sure to note that he’s previously worked with Comme des Garçons and Chanel.) And Yuki Katsuta—the head of research and design, who arrived at Uniqlo via Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, and Ralph Lauren—continues to search for designers with whom to collaborate, and new ways in which to do so. He’s just coming off a partnership with his old Bergdorf’s colleague Michael Bastian for a new kind of capsule collection: one limited entirely to one category, the polo shirt. It’s been going gangbusters in Japan, and arrives at U.S. Uniqlo stores later this month.
“I believe, by definition, that jewelry is a very personal thing,” Jennifer Meyer says. That sentiment is apparent in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up’s new collection of diamond-and-gold arrow and custom-engraved ID cuffs, which launches this week exclusively at Barneys. While accompanying husband Tobey Maguire to the Sydney set of The Great Gatsby last year, the designer was influenced by the statement baubles that star Carey Mulligan wore with her costumes. “There was an abundance of beautiful classic pieces with a touch of personalization,” she said. “You could tell a lot of thought went into the characters and what they wore.”
Meyer, who has been nominated for this year’s Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, describes the new range as classic with an edge. “I just started with a trillion diamonds and custom-cut stones,” the L.A.-based designer says of the wares, which reference the Chrysler Building. While remaining true to her West Coast roots, Meyer’s trajectory has been deliberate, developing her identity while still tending to her collection with a delicate hand. As for her future plans, she tells Style.com, “I am continuing to love working with custom-cut stones and adding bigger, bolder pieces into the collection.”
Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles invited Derek Lam, Rachel Roy, Steven Kolb, Barneys’ Mark Lee and Daniela Vitale, and about fifty other fashion insiders to lunch in the Hearst Tower to meet New York mayoral candidate Christine Quinn yesterday. By way of introduction, Coles earned a few laughs when she said, “I’d like to tell you what Christine would do as mayor, or rather, what she wouldn’t do. She would never take a picture of her crotch and send it to someone in the Midwest whom she’s never met, and then blame her computer for being hacked. I just want you to be reassured that that is not something Christine would do.” The Cosmo chief, of course, was referring to Anthony Weiner, the scandalized former congressman, who is testing the waters for a mayoral run of his own. During a long question-and-answer period, Quinn was quick to repeat an earlier statement that “whatever the next decision is for Congress member Weiner and his family, it’s a decision that they’ll have to make together, and I wish them well whatever decision they make,” and to point out that none of her rivals have the credentials that she does.
“It’s easy to criticize and issue press releases,” she said. “It’s much harder to deliver tangible results. If you look at my record, whether that’s working with the Brooklyn Navy Yard to bring more manufacturing jobs during the recession, or passing more legislation than any other City Council has to protect New York City’s tenants, or whether it’s working with the mayor to create the most comprehensive network of incubators to facilitate jobs in all different sectors, or passing the most comprehensive green building code of any city in America, I have a record of results that none of my opponents can touch.”
Quinn touched on topics such as crime reduction, the expansion of affordable housing, tourism, and public education, as well as the city’s first Design Week, scheduled for next month. “In all five boroughs, we’ll highlight 40,000-plus designers of all types,” she said. “We’re doing it, one, to say that we’re better than anywhere else, let me be perfectly clear; two, to thank the design industry; and three, hopefully to bring more attention to it, so we can bring more jobs to it.” She also got into the nitty-gritty about the Garment Center, a subject close to her audience’s heart, suggesting her Small Manufacturing Incentive Fund model might be a good fit.
As for what Quinn wore, she said, “A New York designer, Elie Tahari, an Alexis Bittar bracelet, David Yurman necklace, and earrings I bought in Sag Harbor from a guy named Lee.”
Following the release of Barneys’ 2012 Electric Holiday film, an animated short that starred tall and skinny Disney characters wearing designer duds (Minnie in Lanvin, Goofy in Balmain, and Daisy in Dolce & Gabbana), the fashion biz took some heat for not portraying the iconic cartoons in their traditional proportions. Well, this weekend, in celebration of Disneyland Paris’ 20th anniversary, Alber Elbaz took a stab at a new Minnie Mouse ensemble. The lovable rodent stomped the runway in a custom purple embellished Lanvin frock and one of the designer’s Fall '13 Love necklaces. Needles to say, Ms. Mouse looked pretty sharp, and she didn’t have to lose a pound to do so. Other runway ensembles included a Cinderella-inspired knit skirt and top from London’s Sister by Sibling, and as well as enchanted wares from Custo Dalmau and Jean-Paul Knott. According to The Telegraph, some onlookers complained that they missed the polka dots. Elbaz offered, “We’re not here to transform people. We love her the way she is.”