4 posts tagged "Ilaria Urbinati"
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.”
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.
It took some patience, but Ilaria Urbinati, the stylist and co-owner of L.A.’s Confederacy, finally got Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos over to the West Coast. “We’ve had this on the calendar for a while,” conceded Halmos (pictured above, with Urbinati and Confederacy co-owner Danny Masterson). “We’ve known Ilaria since she started out as a stylist, and she’s been carrying our line here since the very beginning.” They’re now getting an added vote of confidence: Urbinati commissioned the duo to design her staff uniforms, which debuted at a party in their honor last night. Tara Subkoff, Hilary Duff, and Bijou Phillips were among the revelers taking in the long-sleeved black silk button- downs with chiffon sleeves and black and white printed silk shorts. Not that they needed a job on the sales floor to walk away with some S&H goods. The designers were previewing their Fall ’10 collection, which, they said, was perfect for the L.A. weather. “Our outerwear is particularly strong. Even in L.A., you can deconstruct the pieces and still wear them. And we happen to make a great leather jacket.” That’s something it’s easy to enjoy nationwide, but there are a few pleasures exclusive to the Wild West. “In-N-Out was our first stop,” Shipley admitted.
It’s all coming full circle. Rebecca Minkoff started out designing clothes in 2001, but a good friend, the actress Jenna Elfman, prevailed on her to create a bag for an upcoming film. Thus was the Morning After bag born, and with it a booming business in the accessories trade. These days, Minkoff even claims an official fan club. Somewhere along the way, however, the clothes got scuttled. Now they’re back: Members of the Rebecca Minkoff fan club can rejoice in the fact that the designer is relaunching her apparel collection this week. And once again, Minkoff has been nudged along by a good friend, in this case the stylist Ilaria Urbinati. The two co-design the new Rebecca Minkoff sportswear label, which relaunched for Spring ’09. The first collection will be offered solely through Minkoff’s Web site and at Confederacy, Urbinati’s store in L.A. “We wanted to have a laboratory where we could test the reaction to the clothes,” explains Minkoff. “You know, I have my customer who loves the bags, and I don’t want to alienate her. I feel like this way, my fans get the first crack.” That exclusivity won’t last too long—this evening, Minkoff and Urbinati are presenting their Fall ’09 collection at Milk, alongside Minkoff’s new handbags. “We cover a lot of styles that are pretty basic, like T-shirts or a pair of black pants. But what we really like to do is incorporate kind of, well, random inspirations into details that will make people take that second look.” References for Fall include a photo of Bob Dylan in westernwear and several June Carter-ish dresses owned by Urbinati’s grandmother. “It’s not like we’re doing anything too out-there and western-themed,” notes Minkoff. “That’s just where we started, like, right now, it seems like Spring ’10 might have something to do with Twilight. Sometimes,” she adds, “you just need that one little push that gets you going.”