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July 29 2014

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34 posts tagged "Dover Street Market"

Julien Dossena Talks Paco Rabanne, Atto, and Paris’ Shifting Landscape

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Julien DossenaLVMH Prize finalist. Creative director of Paco Rabanne. Founder of the fledgling label Atto. French designer Julien Dossena is juggling a lot of roles this spring, but he was in New York last week wearing his Paco Rabanne hat. Dossena replaced Manish Arora at Rabanne early last year shortly after leaving Balenciaga, where he worked under Nicolas Ghesquière. By his own account, he has his work cut out for him at Rabanne. Outside of France and fashion circles, the brand is known for little more than perfume and men’s cologne, despite the late designer’s groundbreaking designs of the 1960s. Jane Fonda wouldn’t have been half as convincing as Barbarella without her Rabanne chain mail, and photos of pretty young things in his metal shifts encapsulate the futurism and free love of the era. But the company has floundered in recent years. “The image of the brand before was a bit blurry,” Dossena said. “Now we are taking back the reins.” Over lunch with Style.com, the designer talked Jane Birkin, Françoise Hardy, and why chain mail will always be essential.

How did Paco Rabanne sales go for Fall?We got opinion-leader kind of shops: Corso Como, Maria Luisa, The Webster, Blake, Just One Eye, Dover Street Market in New York and London. It’s a good start. And Barneys for the bags.

Did any piece in particular connect with buyers?We really wanted to emphasize a daywear wardrobe, but—there’s always a but—the stores need a bit of chain mail on the rack. People love it, they buy it. The challenge is to figure out how we can integrate chain mail into a daywear wardrobe.

As you say, the vision of the brand was blurry before. How do you intend to clear it up?
If women have only one Paco Rabanne dress in their closets, the brand isn’t going to develop. So we want to move away from the super-embroidered dresses that were the base of Rabanne before. We want to make it a classic brand for a younger customer. This season, we got the stores we need to deliver that commercial message. Now we’re working on our first pre-collection. We’re going to open our first shop in about a year and a half. Those are the first steps to having a strong brand.

Where will the shop be?
In Paris. Paco Rabanne is a classic from the sixties like Courrèges or Cardin. It can compete now with Balmain, Carven, those kinds of names. Paco Rabanne can be one of them. In France, Paco Rabanne is really deep in the culture. People love the name in France. I don’t know about America.

People who know fashion here know Jane Birkin and Françoise Hardy in the dresses—those cool metal dresses.
That’s what we want to bring back, that coolness that we love from those images. The question is how to translate those images into new product. If there’s a main word that we’re trying to do, it’s effortless.

To be a successful revival brand these days, you can’t just be about the past, right?
It has to be a balance of not losing the signature, but not being impressed by it, either—not being controlled by it. In five, six, seven years, Paco could become a lifestyle brand. Like if you travel, what kind of clothes do you want to wear? If you go to the countryside on the weekend, what do you want to take? I’m super-interested in that aspect and bringing that together with the visual futuristic signature of Paco Rabanne. It’s a good challenge. The good thing, I hope, is that we cleaned the image of the brand quite fast. And now we can move forward.

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No one was paying much attention to the label, but very quickly you seem to have caught people’s attention.
I hope. The name deserves it.

Do you think launching your own brand, Atto, at the same time as you signed on at Paco Rabanne has been helpful?
Yes. You learn so much on your own. When you launch your own brand, you have to be super-logical. Basically, it’s either you can do that or you can’t. That’s all. It teaches you not to be afraid to say, “OK, we can’t make a show? Don’t make a show.” But also to find the power in not making a show by really focusing on your products.

That’s what I wanted to do after I left Balenciaga. At Balenciaga I was working on the shows, and when you design clothes for a show it’s totally different than when you design for a customer. Paco Rabanne has taught me that a good basic with a little something more can be super-interesting. Each look has to go on a woman, has to be relevant.

But is it hard to manage two brands?
I just started wondering about that now. It happened randomly that I started Atto and Paco at the same time. I launched Atto in December [2012] just after Balenciaga. Then Paco called me for freelance in mid-January. Now that we’re adding pre-collection in Paco, I wonder what is the best way to keep the balance. At the end, the signature is me. Of course I have the Paco name to hold on to, but in the end, it’s what I think is good.

How is the Paco girl different from the Atto girl?
She’s different, but she’s still my girl. Maybe at Paco she’s more sensual, she’s more rich. At Atto, her look is more sharp, more clean.

Are you going to stick to showing Atto by appointment only during the pre-collections?
Yes, I don’t want it to go too fast or too big. I really want to take my time and enjoy it. To not put pressure on me or the collection. What I’d love to do is co-branding, or collaborations with people who have a specific technique or savoir faire, like Atto Mackintosh, Atto and Charvet shirts. That’s a dream. I love the Comme des Garçons model—you know the way they do those jackets with Barbour. I love that. They keep the essence of Barbour, but they add all their craziness and twists to it.

I’m almost afraid to do a show for Atto because I worry that I will lose the aim of Atto. Doing a show totally transforms your vision of your clothes. It makes you think about the casting, all these kinds of things. When I design Atto now, I say, “OK, is the girl going to be comfortable in that dress? What can she mix it with?” I’m afraid to lose that mix-and-match, modular feeling of Atto.

What about the LVMH award? You’re one of the twelve finalists, for Atto. Congratulations.
I was super-honored and super-happy. You know, in France, there is not much support for young designers and young brands. It’s really hopeful when you see that a big group like LVMH is looking at what young designers are doing. It’s a good thing. It means you are not playing anymore. It’s serious. If Atto doesn’t win, we already won, just to be part of the designer group. It’s quite an eclectic group of finalists. And I’m so happy it’s going on in Paris, you know, finally.

There is something moving. My friends and I are super-happy that J.W. Anderson is coming to Loewe, that Nicolas Ghesquière is coming to Vuitton. You can feel a good energy now in Paris.

Photo: Patrick Demarchelier; InDigital Images 

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.