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April 19 2014

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28 posts tagged "Dover Street Market"

A Legendary Indian Sneaker Brand Goes Global

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As kicks go, the Bata Tennis has quite an exotic pedigree. Worn by hundreds of millions of Indian schoolchildren since 1936, the long, lean sneaker with distinctive corrugated rubber-toe guard and pinstripe is one of the best-selling shoes of all time. But until now, it was only available on the subcontinent.

Company founder Tomas Bata set out to “shoe mankind” in 1894 and transformed the small, Czechoslovakian cobbler into one of the first brands to open its own factories all over the world. Along the way, Bata built company towns to cater to every need of his workers and constructed Bata planes to fly teams across the globe.

Today the shoe giant produces 15 million pairs in India annually, and through its twenty-five factories throughout the world, serves 1 million customers daily. But Bata is still considered a phantom brand by trainer collectors who snap up rare vintage pairs for increasingly high prices.

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To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Bata has produced the first international edition of the Bata Tennis for spring in its original white canvas with green pinstripe and new versions in indigo blue and black, available exclusively at Colette in Paris; Dover Street Market in New York, London, and Tokyo; and Miami’s The Webster.

“We’ve been using the same Indian last since the 1930s, which was designed to fit feet across many different regions, and that’s what gives the shoe its unique elongated shape,” says Charles Pignal (great-grandson of Tomas Bata), who spent several weeks fine-tuning the shoe at the brand’s original factory near Calcutta. “There are a lot of shoes in Bata’s history that are iconic,” says Pignal, “but this particular shoe is a real emblem of what we stand for. When I talk to Indians, they all say, ‘Everyone wore those!’” This spring we can all wear them.

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On Our Radar: Feit

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Far too often we find the perfect brogue, slipper, or sneaker…only to discover it’s for men. Feit designers Tull and Josh Price, who recently got picked up by Dover Street Market, are aiming to change that. While their clean, simple leather shoes were originally geared toward the boys, they’ve just introduced a women’s range that is just as (if not more!) desirable as the men’s offering. Three sneaker styles—high-top, slip-on, and low-top—have sleeker, more feminine bodies and come in the brand’s minimalist palette of cream, tan, and black.

It’s worth noting that Feit is not mass-produced. The designers also don’t use any machines. Thanks to Tull’s fifteen-plus years in the footwear industry (he launched Royal Elastics in ’98, which was later acquired by K-Swiss), Feit shoes are crafted with top-quality materials using highly sustainable practices. Vegetable-tanned Italian leather is hand-stitched—never glued—and designed to naturally mold to the foot over time. (In fact, they recommend you go sans socks.) Each pair is “shaped” on a form for ten days without the use of chrome or harmful chemicals. And production quantities are limited—no more than sixty pairs of any style are created at once.

In other words, shoes like these aren’t easy to come by. We’re already thinking about pairing the tan low-tops with crisp white jeans for a smart summer uniform.

Feit men’s and women’s shoes are available at Dover Street Market New York, 160 Lexington Avenue, and online at FeitDirect.com.

Zana Bayne Talks Fall ’14 and the First Lady

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Zana Bayne

Since launching her line in 2010, New York-based designer Zana Bayne has been blurring the lines between clothing, accessories, and bondage-tinged harnesses at warp speed. Fresh off her New York fashion week debut, she jetted to Paris, her home away from home, to present her collection to buyers.

“The whole city is black and gold. When I got back to Paris, I thought, Oh, so that’s where this collection came from,” said the raven-haired designer of her Fall ’14 outing, Ornamentalist. The lineup was inspired by fifties-era images from L’Officiel and featured black and croc-embossed cowhide and gold embellishments.

Belts became bras, or were elongated to look like skirts, sometimes with extreme accentuated waists. Some pieces were adorned with tassels, big buckles, or extra rivets, and a lingerie feel was created via elastic details and garter belts.

While in Paris, Bayne welcomed Rei Kawakubo to her showroom—Bayne’s leathers are currently sold at Comme des Garçons in New York, and she’s preparing for a project with London’s Dover Street Market in the fall. Bayne’s wares, which are priced between $150 and $1,500, are also carried by such stockists as Opening Ceremony, Selfridges in London, and Paris’ Mise en Cage.

Bayne aims to clothe more than just fashion’s edgy avant-garde. In fact, the ambitious 25-year-old, who has crafted pieces for both Prabal Gurung and Lorde, is aiming for sartorial world domination. She is expanding her handbag line and splitting her collection into two: the handcrafted runway range Zana Bayne Collection, and Zana Bayne Originals, which will offer seasonless pieces from the archive.

“It’s not just for the cool kids. There are pieces for all sorts of silhouettes. There are garter belts, full-body pieces, and really delicate items as well,” she explained. “I like to make sure there’s a variety.” Bayne hopes there’s a little something in her collections for everyone—even for her dream client, Michelle Obama.

Photo: Courtesy of Zana Bayne 

Delfina Delettrez’s Soft Surrealism

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“I’m becoming more minimal,” offered Delfina Delettrez during a preview of her Fall ’14 collection at New York’s Dover Street Market. However, as anyone who’s familiar with Delettrez’s surreal jewelry knows, the designer’s definition of “minimal” isn’t necessarily the same as yours and mine. To be fair, Delettrez did tone it down—gone are the eye earrings, spider cuffs, and wasp rings of seasons past. In their place are light, elegant ear cuffs and floating cage rings garnished with diamonds, sapphires, and topaz in a rainbow of lovely hues. “I wanted to use very classic precious stones in soft colors,” offered Delettrez of her Fall lineup, which is filled with pinks, lavenders, cobalts, and emerald greens. “It’s an evolution—a new way to wear diamonds,” she added, gesturing to a full-fingered ring stacked with prongs of stones. “Why would you wear one diamond if you could wear ten?” Good point.

Although, just because Fall is pared down doesn’t mean Delettrez’s freak flag is at half mast—she’s been letting out her wild side on the Fendi runway, where her delectable outré baubles accent her mother Silvia Venturini Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld’s visions. “You can exaggerate more on the catwalk,” said Delettrez, when asked about the growing family collaboration. “I’m obsessed by the movement of jewelry, so I really enjoy working different, crazy materials.” Judging by those furry cuffs she sent out for Fall, it’s work that she does very well. The designer also took a walk on the weird side when creating her Fall ’14 film, Gold Vein. Directed by Daniel Sannwald, the short transports viewers into the designer’s trippy but serene world. Have a first look at the new collection and the video, above, exclusively on Style.com.

The Morning After: Our EIC Recaps Yesterday’s Action

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Marc by Marc Jacobs

RODARTE
Breakfast with my colleague Maya to go over the lineup for the next issue of Style.com/Print, which we put together while simultaneously covering the shows on the site and publish within a month of the close of Paris fashion week, a live-broadcast approach to making a magazine. Then it was off to the Rodarte show. Last season’s collection got slated, though I sort of liked its trashy energy. This one had more of the Mulleavy sisters’ customary handcrafted offbeat charm and should be a hit with their fans. After that it was on to Diesel Black Gold on the West Side, and then a meeting on the East Side with a European luxury house, who filled me in on its plans for a huge event later this spring.

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Tons of energy and lots of food for thought at Marc by Marc Jacobs, which has been rechristened by its initials and is now in the hands of the London-based duo of Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier. Something about the scale of the plywood set and the refracted references here made me think I could have been at a show in Paris. There was an intriguing magpie quality to the clothes, as if you were moving through the racks of Dover Street Market from the Japanese designer section to the sophisticated European section to the streetwear section. My favorite grouping was the BMX-inspired looks. The show was a bona fide smash with the audience. It’ll be interesting to see how the aesthetic, a break from the line’s more insouciant past, plays at retail. Delphine Arnault, of the parent group LVMH, was looking on from the front row.

ANDRE WALKER
Talking of Dover Street Market, I ran into the new Comme des Garçons-operated, multiretailer space on Lexington Avenue to say hello to Andre Walker. Walker is the first to describe himself as an “elusive” designer, and after a few stops and starts, he’s back with a small line, thanks to the encouragement of DSM’s Adrian Joffe and Rei Kawakubo. You’ll find it on the seventh floor between Junya Watanabe and Prada, an indication of the esteem Kawakubo has for Walker.

NARCISO RODRIGUEZ
Every season, there are a couple of models who break through and start popping up in all the big shows so that you can trace the day’s development through their changing hairstyles and runway attitudes. This season, those models are Binx Walton and Anna Ewers, who in the space of a few hours went from Bolshevik ninja at MBMJ to sleek gallerina at the serenely beautiful Narciso Rodriguez show that closed another day of New York fashion week.

Photo: Getty Images