20 posts tagged "Steven Alan"
There is something to be said for a good ole-fashioned T-shirt—finding one with the perfect fit is rarely as easy as it should be. On that simple notion, a few T-shirt-loving guys in California, including Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Donahue, and Matt Rowe, set out to create a line, called Pickwick & Weller, of timeless knitwear staples for men and women.
“I was working as a graphic designer in San Francisco for ten or 15 years, and I started to notice this trend in the last five years where all of my friends (all in creative fields) were wearing refined T-shirts and perfect denim as their work uniform,” Donahue tells Style.com of the project, which kicked off in early 2012. “I decided to play with this idea of ‘modern workwear,’ and Ashton, who I met through a friend, really resonated with that idea—he is a casual guy who is known for wearing that look.”
With a little help from their fashion insider friends, including Steven Alan (“he’s one of my go-to people in NYC—he’s an adviser to us”) and Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa (who is an investor/adviser for the brand), they got to work building their online-only label of luxury basics (just launched this week at www.pickwickweller.com), named after the classic Charles Dickens novel The Pickwick Papers. At no cost, they will ship you the items you want to try in various size, color, and style options (they have three women’s cuts and two men’s at the moment), and you have five days to decide what you like and don’t like. “We feel like we are offering a modern workwear brand of high-end basics, on the level of Alexander Wang and Theory, but at a J.Crew price point (prices start at around $45 and top off at around $60).” Here, Style.com has a first look at the goods. Ashton’s favorite? The Henley, a.k.a. the Afred (pictured), of course.
Considered a hometown hero of sorts among L.A. designers, Clare Vivier has made an impactful impression with her unfussy brand of simple, chic handbags. Since launching her eponymous collection in 2008, the designer has finally found a lasting home for her wares in the shape of her first stand-alone flagship in L.A.’s Silver Lake. “It was our time to create this whole atmosphere that really tells the story of the brand,” Vivier says of the new store (opening today) that tells said story—and speaks to her steady growth. Her range of made-in-L.A. handbags have resonated because of their functionality and, more importantly, because they’ve been an apt antidote to the saturation of luxury label overload. “It was that perfect timing when people were inundated and done with the designer It bag. It felt very special, made in California, and they were good-looking pieces but not at a luxury market price.” (The clutches come in at around $150 each.)
The 750-square-foot space (pictured) was designed by L.A. architect Barbara Bestor to bring a taste of Paris to the east side of L.A.—a point of reference that often informs Vivier’s unfettered aesthetic. The built-out white walls showcase the best-selling candy-colored fold-over clutches, totes, and select items from Steven Alan (a frequent collaborator). The store houses Vivier’s first foray into footwear, a sleek sandal from Italy that comes just in time for summer, and a men’s accessory collaboration with Steven Alan again come fall. “I’m always thinking about the working girl,” Vivier said of her decision to expand into extended accessory categories. And while she might eschew other luxury whims, the designer’s flagship will debut a new monogramming program that will allow for customization and made-to-order designs.
Clare Vivier, 3339 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323)-665-2476.
“Embellishment was extraordinarily intimidating,” says New York-based designer Rachel Antonoff, whose namesake label, sold at retailers like Barneys and Steven Alan, has for several seasons skewed more cute than glam. (“I design for myself in my daydreams,” she jokes, “so it’s me—but a little bit taller.”) But she took a new step in a more elevated direction for Fall when, on the recommendation of friend and fellow designer Timo Weiland, she enlisted the help of Milaaya Embroideries, a Mumbai-based fair trade sewing co-op whose client list includes big name designers such as Balmain, Lanvin, Marni, and Givenchy. “I loved all the fabric people in New York, but this was just a really special environment,” says Antonoff, who equates Milaaya’s New York headquarters (they also have offices in Milan and Paris) with “a candy land of embellishment swatches.”
The result is a brightly colored, checkered embroidery that adorns select pieces of Antonoff’s Fall ’12 collection. Dubbed by the young designer as “the chiclet,” after the gum, the playful pattern of glass beads and cotton threads can be found on chic, collared dresses (the Jack combo dress, pictured) and simple T-shirts with festive sleeves. This foray into embellishment has already garnered “best-selling” potential from a slew of interested buyers, and the designer plans to continue the experiment in seasons to come. That is, if she can overcome her new problem. “Now I have to figure out how to avoid going embellishment crazy,” she says. “It’s like chocolate, once you have a little taste you have to learn how to scale back.”
Some people choose jeans based on what they do for their backside. Others select denim based on its backstory. If you belong to the latter camp, you may have already heard about Carrie and Matt Eddmenson’s Nashville-based brand Imogene + Willie. Born in 2009, after Carrie’s family shuttered a decades-old company that developed washes and finishes for some of the biggest names in the business—Levi’s, Double RL—I+W specializes in hand-sewn selvedge jeans and a semi-custom fit policy at its 12th Avenue South store courtesy of an in-house “denim whisperer” named Rhett.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who discovered the shop while filming Country Strong, put Imogene + Willie on the global map when she mentioned the label on Goop. But the Eddmensons weren’t in a rush to capitalize on the good press. “We strategically didn’t wholesale until now because we wanted to have physical contact with every person, and therefore every jean, that was purchased during our first two years,” Carrie told Style.com. “Those first 10,000 people were super-special because they helped us develop our fits.”
Some of those 10,000 folks can be seen in Love Fades, a new limited-edition book by the photographer Joshua Black Wilkins. The portraits, which were taken over the course of four sessions outside the 12 Avenue South store, feature fans of the brand wearing their I+W denim. As you can tell by the pics, these jeans are definitely good for your backside, too.
Imogene + Willie denim is now available at Steven Alan in New York and on www.imogeneandwillie.com. Signed and numbered copies of Love Fades can be preordered for $150. See Lovefadesiw.tumblr.com for more information.