7 posts tagged "Confederacy"
It was JFK to LAX for the boys of Warby Parker who teamed up with a bespectacled Ashton Kutcher to celebrate their new shop-in-shop at L.A.’s Confederacy, the label’s first specs-on-the-ground presence on the left coast. “There is a misperception by the rest of the country of Southern California. And the Southern California that we know is one driven by art and one driven by startups and a fashion community,” co-founder Neil Blumenthal (above right) said of the brand’s new home. “We want to feel part of it even though we’re on the other side of the country.”
Attracting their usual crown of discerning Angelenos, Danny Masterson took turns behind the DJ booth while store owner Ilaria Urbinati chatted up Showtime starlets Emmy Rossum and Madeline Zima. Set to sell their specs through the holidays (including the release of their sunglass collaboration with Suno next week), the L.A. launch was a departure from the brand’s strong Northeast presence, but still logical for Warby Parker’s other co-founder, the San Diego-bred Dave Gilboa (above left). “We wanted to be careful about how we entered the L.A. market because we feel it is so important in terms of style and fashion.” And partnering with Confederacy was the perfect fit. “Ilaria and Danny have captured the same classic American point of view with references to the forties and fifties and aesthetic as we do.”
As a native New Yorker who is currently straddling both coasts, Emily Jerome‘s namesake Jerome line has come a long way since its launch in Spring 2010. After being given the opportunity to debut a small collection in Paris that March alongside Gregory Parkinson, Jenni Kayne, and Katy Rodriguez, Jerome (who counts Intermix and Confederacy as stockists) was compelled to take her designs to the next level.
For her 70-piece Spring ’12 lookbook, the emerging designer enlisted Charlotte Kidd to photograph her nouveau Western collection against MASS MOCA’s imposing instillations, by artists like Sol LeWitt, Katharina Grosse, and Federico Díaz. “This collection dealt with the familiar ideas of the American West and paid homage to it in an updated way,” Jerome tells Style.com. For the collection, Jerome reimagined Western symbols like the bullhorn and chevron and hippie silhouettes were rendered in sleeker fabrications with richer design details. Instead of doing fringe in conventional suede, she uses silk paired with an equestrian fabric for good measure. “We see suede and fringe jackets in vintage stores all the time, but there hasn’t been a lot of updating of that aesthetic, which was an inspiration behind what I’m trying to do.”
The designer’s bicoastal lifestyle still informs her incessant need to keep things modern. “I started out designing with a single idea, and on this collection, we’re working with five different types of knits, silk jerseys, and so many different fabrications,” she says. “This shoot let me showcase the designs and really speak to the kind of customer I’m trying to target.”
It goes without saying that when Ilaria Urbinati and her boutique Confederacy beckon, L.A.’s cognoscenti listen. Now Rebecca Minkoff is part of her equation. In town fêting her new shop-in-shop in the former Confederacy womenswear space, a seven-months pregnant Minkoff was excited to inaugurate her first standalone retail venture in the U.S. “The best part is that since this is our first real space that’s entirely our own, it gives us a chance to figure out what works and get our feet into retail,” she said. And as indefatigable as her handbag, ready-to-wear, and now shoe lines may be, Minkoff is keen working above and beyond her standard formula in merchandising the new space. “I’d love to put special things in the store that maybe are part of my vision but a store won’t buy.” It’s all work for the moment, but play comes later this week, when Minkoff decamps to her preferred West Coast destination: Malibu.
Urbinati’s menswear fans, like Giovanni Ribisi, Ashton Kutcher, and Chris Pine, all made appearances, as did Lauren Conrad, Busy Philipps, and Glee‘s Jayma Mays. Multi-hyphenate Agyness Deyn dropped in, too. Having just wrapped a role in the film Pusher in England, the model is focusing on her acting career. “I’ve got a few upcoming things with James [Franco],” the model said of her sometime co-star (the two were featured in a recent Elle spread). But for the moment, it was play, not work, that was on her mind. “I really just came out here to hang out with these guys,” she said.
Since opening in late 2008, Confederacy, Ilaria Urbinati and Danny Masterson’s hipster haven, has served as the retail outpost for L.A.’s eastside cognoscenti. The 5,000-square-foot space in Los Feliz has housed limited-edition Calvin Klein dresses, a suit collection from the Strokes’ Albert Hammond, Jr., and collections from the likes of Proenza Schouler, Phillip Lim, and Jenni Kayne. But as strong as their womenswear business is, it’s no patch on the men’s, and the duo is phasing it out to focus on menswear. “At the end of the day, it’s hard to argue with the numbers and our menswear is just so strong,” Urbinati said of the decision. “We have a lot of industry people coming in—a lot of actors, of course, but also quite a lot of musicians. They like to come in every few weeks, stock up on their Band of Outsiders shirts, some J.Lindeberg, Gant, Shipley & Halmos, and Rag & Bone. And then of course we have a huge business in suiting. They love the Band, Spurr, and Native Son.” Locals can also expect round two of the Albert Hammond line, projected for Spring ’12.
But ladies won’t be left out in the cold. The now-vacated womenswear space in Confederacy is set to get a new tenant: Urbinati’s close friend, Rebecca Minkoff (right, with Urbinati). “L.A. is extremely important to us,” Minkoff told Style.com. “We already have such a strong connection with our East Coast consumer that we wanted that same relationship on the West Coast.” Using the new space as a left-coast laboratory, the shop-in-shop will allow the brand to get to know their customers on a whole new level. “Brick and mortar allows us to interact with the customer in a way we previously haven’t been able to,” Minkoff continued. And given her longstanding relationship with Urbinati, who has been the line’s friend, muse, and stylist for years, expect some collaborations in the future, too.