WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily

 
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
TEXTILES IN DEPTH/SEC. II KORS TAPS PRESIDENT OF MICHAEL/2
                                 Women’s Wear Daily • The Retailers’ Daily Newspaper • October 7, 2003 Vol. 186, No. 73 $2.00

                                   WWDTUESDAY
                                      Ready-to-Wear/Textiles

                           Mix Masters
                           MILAN — The Italian spring collections were a veritable
                           print-fest, and some of the best patterns and
                           combinations of them came from Domenico Dolce and
                           Stefano Gabbana. Their Dolce & Gabbana collection, in
                           fact, was a romp of playful motifs, which often went all the
                           way down to the feet, including hose and even shoes.
                           There were great-looking dresses, pants and skirts in bold
                           prints, along with shapely suits that could be dressed up
                           or down, and a striking evening lineup. Here, one of their
                           dresses, in a bold mix of patterns with peekaboo details.
                           For more on the season, see pages 6 to 12.

                             Chanel’s Mega Maisons:
                             Remodeled Paris Store
                             Now Largest in World
                             By Miles Socha
                             PARIS — Call it the first leg of Chanel’s
                             triple crown.
                                The revitalized flagship on Rue
                             Cambon here — the first of the luxe
                             brand’s three major redo’s, with Tokyo
                             and New York to follow — is now the
                             biggest Chanel store in the world. And
                             yes, one encounters marble, gold and
                             even flecks of diamond practically at
                             every turn.
                                But as Chanel president Françoise
                             Montenay stressed, the 8,600-square-foot
                             flagship on Rue Cambon was built on a
                             “human scale,” where luxurious
                                                          See Chanel, Page13
PHOTO BY DAVIDE MAESTRI
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
2    WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

Buyers See Salable Milan
MILAN — Retailers left Milan
all smiles, pronouncing the
                                       with brights and pale tones. We
                                       also saw great novelty items,
                                                                             beat. It was a great moment at
                                                                             Pucci with colorful, beautiful
                                                                                                                    WWDTUESDAY                                                            Ready-to-Wear/Textiles

Italian fashion season upbeat,
feminine — and infinitely
                                       like capris and pants cropped at
                                       the knee with ties and buckles.”
                                                                             prints. It really is the marriage of
                                                                             Figaro with Christian Lacroix and
                                                                                                                                                                   GENERAL
                                                                                                                                  FASHION: Prints were a dominant motif in the Milan collections, in all their
saleable. Banishing black and
tailoring, designers here un-          Robert Burke, vice president and
                                                                             Pucci. Marital bliss. Donatella
                                                                             Versace brought back the great
                                                                                                                         6        wild variety, as collections drew to a close.
                                                                                                                                  Chanel has unveiled its largest store in the world — the refurbished and
leashed an explosion of color,
prints and feminine details on
                                       senior fashion director, Bergdorf
                                       Goodman: “I thought Milan had
                                                                             moments of the Eighties in a sexy,
                                                                             sophisticated, beautiful show.”             1        enlarged Rue Cambon flagship in Paris — the first of three mega-redos.
the runways last week.                 high highs and low lows. Where                                                             Retailers left Milan all smiles, pronouncing the Italian fashion season
    Dresses of all persuasions,
Fifties skirts, chiffon blouses and
                                       New York was consistent, Milan
                                       had a great deal of variety.
                                                                             Sue Patneaude, executive vice
                                                                             president designer apparel,
                                                                                                                         2        upbeat, feminine — and infinitely salable.
                                                                                                                                  Michael Kors is continuing to recruit a star lineup for its Michael launch,
cuffed shorts topped shopping
lists, while collections from Prada,
Gucci, Pucci, Roberto Cavalli and
                                       There were outstanding shows
                                       from Dolce & Gabbana with
                                       their bright color story, which
                                                                             Nordstrom: “It’s an exceptional-
                                                                             ly wearable and commercial
                                                                             season in Milan. It’s not too sexy
                                                                                                                         2        tapping Gia Castrogiovanni president of the brand’s women’s unit.
                                                                                                                                  EYE: Since its opening in 1994, Murray Moss’ hyper-chic SoHo shop has
Versace earned top grades.
    Here’s what retailers from
                                       was also feminine and upbeat.
                                       Versace was also very strong. I
                                                                             or overt for the customer to
                                                                             wear. It’s a great season for a
                                                                                                                         4        become the city’s mecca of industrial design. Here’s an inside look.
around the world had to say:           think there was a lot of creativity   customer to create her own mix         WWDTextiles In Depth: Interwoven World, a special report, is included in this issue.
                                       with color — it was very wear-        of feminine, romantic and sexy                   Classified Advertisements ..................................................................22-23
Joan Kaner, senior vice presi-         able, but also fresh and interest-    looks. We like all the prints and
                                                                                                                                    To e-mail reporters and editors at WWD, the address is
dent and fashion director,             ing. Jil Sander was monumental        colors. And there cannot be a
Neiman Marcus: “Prada and              because it was completely new.        piece of chiffon left in any facto-
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Kors Taps Castrogiovanni for Michael                                                                                                                                        WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY.

                                                                                                                                  For Web site access, log on and subscribe to www.WWD.com.

By Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — Michael Kors Inc. is
continuing to recruit a star lineup
                                       2004 retailing that is slightly
                                       higher priced than many of the
                                       designer lines that are moving
                                       into the better category with
                                                                             lion dollars” in infrastructure
                                                                             and personnel so the Michael
                                                                             collection can be designed and
                                                                             developed in-house.                     ●
                                                                                                                      In Brief
                                                                                                                        TENDERED ARE THE SHARES: RCS MediaGroup SpA on
for its new Michael launch, nam-       launches next year. The scope of         “Gia has a tremendous                Monday said it has completed its tender offer for all the out-
ing Gia Castrogiovanni as presi-       Michael is also greater than          record of success in her previ-         standing American depository shares of Fila Holding SpA, with
dent of the Michael women’s divi-      many of the other entries, en-        ous endeavors and we had a              each ADS representing one of Fila’s ordinary shares. Milan-
sion on Monday.                        compassing women’s, men’s and         great time working together on          based RCS paid $1.12 a share, upping its stake in the Italian
    Castrogiovanni, who resigned       many accessories categories           the original launch of the              sportswear company by 7 percent to approximately 98.2 percent.
as chief operating officer of          with a simultaneous launch.           Tommy Hilfiger women’s collec-          RCS said it plans to use the buyout to sell Fila’s subsidiaries to
Mossimo Inc. last week, con-           The company has made several          tion,” Stroll said. “With her on        private investment firm Sport Brands International for $351 mil-
firmed she will join Michael           significant additions to its staff    board, in addition to the great         lion in cash. As reported, at its annual meeting on Oct. 24, Fila
Kors next Monday in the new            already,     including     Anne       team already in place, we will          said it will ask shareholders to vote on changing the company’s
role. She has an extensive histo-      Gorfinkle as senior vice presi-       reach our goal of becoming a            name and delisting the stock from the New York Stock
r y with the designer, having          dent of women’s design; Dean          billion-dollar company.”                Exchange. With the board’s approval, the new company would be
launched the original Kors             Micklewhite as senior vice pres-         Castrogiovanni has also              called RCS Investimenti SpA, and Fila Holding’s registered seat
bridge collection in the               ident of men’s design; Stephen        worked as a vice president of           would be transferred from Biella, Italy, to Milan. Both measures
Nineties, as well as with the          DiGeronimo as women’s design          sales at Dana Buchman. During           would be effective in January.
new owners of the company,             director, and Melanie Reichler        the five years she had worked at
Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou,        as vice president of production       Mossimo, she held the titles of         ●  SIMON SAYS, AGAIN: Simon Property Group Inc. and
when she was vice president of         for the new lines.                    chief operating officer, treasur-       Westfield America Inc. once again extended their tender offer
sales for the launch of the               Stroll and Chou, through           er and secretary. As reported           deadline for Taubman Centers Inc., this time to midnight
Tommy Hilfiger women’s collec-         their partnership in Sportswear       Friday, Mossimo Giannulli,              Eastern Standard Time on Oct. 31. The previous deadline was
tion in 1996.                          Holdings Ltd., which acquired         chairman and chief executive            Friday. As expected, Taubman again rejected the entreaty, saying
    As reported, Michael Kors          the business in January, are          officer of the firm, said her re-       the partnership’s acquisition of about 19.6 million, or 24 percent,
will launch a lower-priced col-        making an investment on the           sponsibilities will be divided          of the approximately 81 million Taubman voting shares is “clear-
lection called Michael for fall        scale of “several hundred mil-        among several vice presidents.          ly insufficient to meet Simon’s own minimum tender offer condi-
                                                                                                                     tion to purchase the company,” since approximately 54 million
                                                                                                                     voting shares must approve any sale or amendment to
                                                                                                                     Taubman’s charter.
                                       Eleanor Lambert Gravely Ill
                                       NEW YORK — Eleanor Lamb-              10 and has remained active, at-
                                       ert, the fashion publicist who
                                       worked with virtually ever y
                                                                             tending fashion shows during
                                                                             the New York collections in
                                                                                                                      Correction
                                       major fashion designer of the         September, including the pres-          Silmo, Salon International de l’Optique Lunnetterie (eyewear, re-
                                       20th century, was in a coma as        entation by Geoffrey Beene              lated equipment), Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, Paris, France
                                       of press time Monday, af ter          and a cocktail reception for            will be held Oct. 17-20. The show dates were incorrect in the
                                       suffering what doctors believe        the newest members of the               International Trade Show Calendar, Section II, page 21, on May
                                       was a stroke a week ago, her          Council of Fashion Designers            28. Contact: Isabella Ferreira. Tel: (33-1) 4909 6126. Fax: (33-1) 4909
                                       family said.                          of America.                             6106. E-mail: iferreira@comexpo-paris.com. Web site: silmo.fr.
                                          Lambert turned 100 on Aug.            She has played a major role
                                                                             in the evolution of the
    celebrating 40 years in the business of fashion - 1963-                                                           WWDStock Market Index for October 6
     O pen
                                                                             American designer industr y
                                                                             and established many of its or-
    2003 • celebrating 40 years in the business of fashion -                 ganizations and traditions, in-
                                                                                                                         Composite: 116.01                        Broadline Stores: 117.28                      Softline Stores: 114.84
    1963-2003 •       celebrating 40 years in the business of                cluding the CFDA, the original

        on Broadway
    fashion - 1963-2003 • celebrating 40 years in the busi-
    ness of fashion - 1963-2003 • celebrating 40 years in the
         de
                                                                             Coty Awards, the first coordi-
                                                                             nated fashion weeks in New
                                                                             York and the International Best
                                                                             Dressed List.                                            0.69                                       0.89                                         0.24

     Marco 40
    business of fashion - 1963-2003 • celebrating 40 years in                   She also organized the
                                                                                                                            Vendors: 112.17                                Textiles: 90.84
                                                                             American contingent of the
    the business of fashion - 1963-2003 •              celebrating 40        milestone 1973 fashion show at                                                                                                     Index base of 100 is
                                                                                                                                                                                                               keyed to closing prices
    years in the business of fashion - 1963-2003 YEARS
                                                                             Versailles, which helped estab-
                                                      • celebrat-            lish designers in this country as                                                                                                    of Dec. 31, 2002.
    ingNY
        40- 212-869-8255
            years in the business
                          1400 Broadway   • LA
                                  of fashion - 1963-2003   • cele
                                                - 213-622-4439               a force equal to that of Europe’s                        0.42                                        1.54
                                                                             established fashion capitals.
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
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WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
4   WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

X

 The eclectic Moss. Inset: Birds in Venini glass at $29,000 each.

Gathering Moss NEW YORK — Fashion pros hover around the             “Fashion was on the downswing in 1990 and I thought,            Daily, he moves merch

 eye           design store, Moss, buying up gifts, seeking
               inspiration and happily emptying their pock-
             ® ets for items both whimsical and essential.
                  Since its opening in 1994, Murray Moss’
               hyper-chic SoHo shop has become the
                                                                    ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to take this whole sector in a new di-
                                                                    rection?’” says Moss. “No one was interested.”
                                                                       Not that he’s bitter. When Charivari’s Jon Weiser fi-
                                                                    nally bit, lending a corner to the home concept, Moss re-
                                                                    alized just how good his idea was and struck out on his
                                                                                                                                    from one spot to another
                                                                                                                                    on the sales floor, brings in
                                                                                                                                    new items and takes others away. “I approach my store as
                                                                                                                                    a greengrocer and make decisions based on whatever
                                                                                                                                    looks fresh,” he says. “Every morning I say, ‘Does any of
city’s mecca of industrial design for everything from a             own instead.                                                    this make sense today?’”
$42 steel champagne whisk to decorative birds made                     But relying on exclusivity or a novel concept was not            Beyond working fashion’s strategic angles, Moss still
from Venini glass — selling for $29,000 each. And if it             an option. If he succeeded, his store would spawn imita-        finds the subject itself compelling. How could he not —
feels like home to the designers, editors and buyers who            tors. “I learned in fashion that you can’t think people         it’s everywhere. “Objects don’t exist in a vacuum,” he
flock there, it should: Moss is one of fashion’s own.               have to work with you because there’s no one else,” says        says. “Fashion is such a powerful machine, I’d rather
    The original Moss store opened on Madison Avenue                Moss. “I like to imagine a store directly across the street     ride the wave.”
in 1979. Stocked with avant-garde fashion designed by               that has all the same stuff. Then I think about how to get          Moss’ customers, after all, come in directly after vis-
Ronaldus Shamask, it flourished during the Eighties,                people to come to me instead.” Of course, what that             iting Louis Vuitton. “Whatever Marc communicated to
when business partners Moss, formerly an actor, and                 proverbial store across the street doesn’t boast is the         them is a very strong story,” he says. “I’d rather use that
Shamask became New York’s editorial darlings. While                 quirky, expensive and expansive taste that creates his          than ignore it.
the good times didn’t last — after a bit-                                             shop’s harmony.                                   “People know how to look at fashion and there are
ter trademark dispute in 1990, Moss left                                                 Working fashion’s lifestyle model,         endless venues for communicating its ideas,” he contin-
the industry behind — the ways of fash-                                               Moss avoids the ho-hum merchandising          ues. “How many windows have cutlery in them?”
ion informed the beginnings of his                                                    tactics employed by his peers. “In indus-         Cutlery, which he calls the underwear of design —
Greene Street store.                                                                  trial design, candlesticks are still in the   it’s that intimate — is Moss’ obsession. But since trading
    “That’s what I took from fashion,”                                                candlestick department,” he says. “But        cashmere for cutlery, the fashion-industrial design
says Moss one afternoon, smiling at his                                               people are so hungry to learn. The idea       crossover hasn’t always agreed with him. For example,
rows of sunny glass vitrines. “People                                                 of grouping things by lifestyle, by men-      he thinks that fashion designers who do home collec-
run their hand over a rack of clothes                                                 tality, is bound to move into other areas.”   tions should give it a rest.
and they think they’ve seen it all.”                                                     Since opening day, when a lone trash           “A pianist plays music and a cellist plays music, but I
    Not at Moss.                                                                      can graced the front window, Moss’ treas-     wouldn’t ask a pianist to play the cello and I wouldn’t
    The store’s labyrinthine layout                                                   ures have been arranged in provocative        assume that someone like Giorgio Armani could make a
makes it next to impossible to take the                                               vignettes. In one glass case a Doberman       chair,” he says. “The difference is vast and it’s presump-
whole thing in with one glance. Ted                                                   Pinscher cast in Nymphenburg porcelain        tuous to think, ‘If I can do this, I can do that.’ ”
Muehling’s curvaceous silver candle-                                                  poses coyly amid a cluster of delicate            Of course, there are a few exceptions, including
sticks, classic designs by Georg Jensen,                                              drinking glasses.                             Halston’s home collection and Hussein Chalayan’s fash-
cult treasures from new stars like Tord                                                  But that arrangement could change          ion-cum-furniture collection. Moss would have loved to
Boontje and innovations like Zani &                                                   at any moment. The fashion idea Moss          see what Vionnet could have done, but he also thinks
Zani’s metallic lace tablecloth are all                                               would most like to teach the design-buy-      that, given her architectural sensibility, Jil Sander
locked away behind glass, as if in a mu-                                              ing public is simple: Change is good.         might make a mean chair.
seum display.                                 Murray Moss                             “When people come in they think, ‘We              Following his own logic, however, Moss won’t pro-
    “My first thought about a shop was,                                               had better like this cutlery or these         duce a private label collection or take on the role of de-
‘Is it just somebody in the way? A troll under the                  glasses or this sofa for our whole lives and our feelings       signer himself. “I’m a merchant and it’s a full-time job,”
bridge?’” says Moss, a sweet-faced, well-pressed man                about it should never change,’” he says. “But you don’t         he says. “Just because I look at everything doesn’t mean
who’s often found right here, minding the store.                    ever hear anyone say, ‘I’m not buying that jacket be-           that I can design.”
    It might seem obvious that a design-curious customer            cause I won’t be able to wear that five years from now.’            He also nixes the idea of opening any branch loca-
who spends thousands on a Yohji Yamamoto coat would                    “From fashion, I gained the confidence and the com-          tions, preferring to stay put and expand his 7,000-square-
probably shell out the same for high-concept house-                 fort in knowing that you are going to change.”                  foot store. “My model would be Bergdorf Goodman,” he
wares, but in the early Nineties the idea was still risky.             In fact, Moss, who travels to six or seven design fairs      says. Someday there might be vertical expansion, a Moss
Before landing on Greene Street, Moss conducted an ex-              each year, is always searching for what he calls “idea-         hardware store or a restaurant. “But at the very end,”
periment in his apartment, buying items that demon-                 rich objects” — and changes his mind all the time. “I start     Moss says, “I’ll probably be one of those old design guys
strated his cool, setting up a mock shop and showing it             in aisle A and finish with aisle Z. I look at everything I’ve   who opens a summer theater in Woodstock.”
to retailers with the hope of forming a new partnership.            seen before because I may feel differently now,” he says.                                             — Jessica Kerwin
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003          5
                                          RUDE AWAKENING: Last March,               being fired she and de Pury took

 MEMO PAD
                                          Louise MacBain stunned the New
                                          York art world when she purchased
                                          the influential trade magazine, Art &
                                                                                    rooms in the St. Regis hotel and flew
                                                                                    the Concorde, and, just for good
                                                                                    measure, Ward raises the question of
                                                                                                                             Asda to Launch Sports Clothing Brand
                                          Auction. Coming after her disastrous      whether de Pury, who’s now dating        LONDON — Asda, Wal-Mart’s            cial England team soccer shirt
BLIP: Is Radar over? Technically, it      stint at Phillips auction house,          Anh Duong, used MacBain in order to      U.K. subsidiary, plans to unveil     that’s made by Admiral and sells
isn’t until Maer Roshan says so, but      where she was hired and then fired        get her to invest. If there’s any glee   a clothing and accessories line      for $13.36.
does the rest of his team agree?          by her then-boyfriend, chairman           for MacBain, it’s that Ward seems to     for sports fans, to be sold             Under the terms of the agree-
While Roshan insists he’s this close      Simon de Pury, many thought the           think her purchase of Art & Auction      alongside its in-house fashion       ment, Asda will be the exclusive
to landing the financing he               deal was a revenge move.                  made de Pury crazy. When he heard,       brand George.                        Admiral licensee for the U.K.
desperately needs — from July to              But no amount of sniping could        “he was shaking and there were tears        Early next year, Asda will roll   market. In the U.K., Admiral is
September, he was perpetually two         have prepared MacBain for the             in his eyes,” a source told Ward.        out Admiral, a line of men’s,        best known as a clothing brand
weeks away; now he won’t set a                                                                                               women’s and children’s athletic-     for cricket players and fans.
                                          evisceration she experiences in               When asked why she’d agreed to
                                                                                                                             inspired apparel and accessories,       “In addition to the incremen-
timetable — there are signs the           November’s Vanity Fair, which             be profiled for Vanity Fair and sit      to be made under license from        tal revenues that we will gener-
staff is beginning to dissipate.          comes out Wednesday.                      down with a hard-core reporter           the U.K.-based International         ate, it will also significantly en-
     Chief operating officer Paul Fish,       In it, Vicky Ward profiles MacBain,   known for her brutally tough             Brand Licensing plc.                 hance the visibility of the Admiral
i.e., the man with the business plan,     quoting friends and colleagues of the     profiles, MacBain said she hadn’t           George and Admiral will           brand,” said Lance Yates, chair-
is slowly backing away from the           former couple, who rehash every bad       known who Ward was. She said she         jointly source, design and manu-     man of IBL.
magazine, two sources said, gradually     thing that happened between them          was told VF wanted to do a piece on      facture the new line, which will        Neither Asda nor IBL would
abdicating his role as the point man      and say almost universally nasty          her business, including some stuff       consist of sporty clothing such      reveal sales projections for the
on Roshan’s fund-raising efforts.         things about her.                         on Phillips (which she wouldn’t          as soccer and cricket T-shirts,      line, or the duration of the li-
Roshan described this as “absolutely          Among them: that MacBain              comment to them on) and that she         tracksuits and sweatshirts with      censing agreement. Both compa-
wrong,” adding, “we are cautiously        “nearly tanked the business”; that        “always [talks] to the press about       various team logos, as well as       nies said they would release fur-
optimistic about receiving new            when people at the company were           my business.” — Jacob Bernstein          luggage and footwear.                ther details of their agreement
funding.” Fish himself promptly                                                                                                 Asda currently carries an offi-   later this month.
called, saying, “You are obviously
badly informed,” and added,
“Maer and I have always taken an
active lead in fund-raising.”
     They may still be showing
solidarity, one source close to the
pair said, but “that doesn’t mean
they’re still at it the way they were
before, and it doesn’t mean they’re
not fizzling,” as far as their
relationship is concerned. “It’s not
in either’s best interest to admit it.”
     It’s also telling that Roshan,
two more sources said, recently
began contacting a new round of
potential intermediaries —
people who know people with
money — without Fish and
supposedly while crossing the Ts
on his main round of financing.
Roshan replied that, as the
founder of a fledgling magazine
seeking money, this is what he’s
supposed to do.
     Also drifting off is Ignition
Media’s Elinore Carmody, the
former publisher of George who,
along with Larry Burstein (now
New York magazine’s publisher),
filled in as de facto publishers for
the first two issues, landing blue-
chip advertisers like Prada, Gap
and Calvin Klein. She’s gone —
at least for now.
     “No, we don’t have a
publisher, and it is in limbo at
this point in time,” admitted
Radar’s West Coast ad rep, Bill
Harper, of Harper & Associates.
Carmody declined comment,
while Roshan pointed out that he
holds the publisher title on the
masthead and that Carmody is a
consultant. “And we’ve gotten
over 50 pages already for the
third issue,” he said (without
saying when a third issue might
appear). “We’re still very much
selling ads.” But Harper and
Radar’s Midwest rep, Michael
Sanders, said it’s still very much
in limbo. “Nothing is alive, and
nothing is dead,” Harper said.
     The bulk of the editorial staff,
meanwhile, remains on a furlough
that began just after Memorial
Day. Not needing the space, Radar
recently abandoned its main office
on 11th Street and moved into
smaller digs in the West Village.
Several employees have taken jobs
at the likes of Miramax and GQ,
but, as Roshan points out, none of
the senior editors have accepted
full-time offers elsewhere. “They
all remain excited and committed
to this idea,” Roshan said. “It
gives me my impetus to continue
knowing they still believe in this.”
— Greg Lindsay
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
6   WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

Roberto Cavalli

                                    Motif
                                    Power
                                    MILAN — Prints and patterns swept
                                    through the spring collections here, as
                                     designers fell under the spell of
                                      arresting mixes of pastels or brights.
                                       Florals and geometric motifs were
                                        favorites, turning up on looks
                                          ranging from abbreviated surfer
                                            shorts to racy evening dresses.
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
Versace
                                                                                     Pucci
                                                                                     Etro

                                                                   Antonio Berardi
                                                                                               WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

PHOTOS BY GIOVANNI GIANNONI, DAVIDE MAESTRI AND MAURICIO MIRANDA
                                                                                                7
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
8     WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

    Sensual and Sexy
    At Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni experimented with draped shapes, while Alessandro Dell’Acqua created simple,
             sensual looks for Borbonese and the Byblos designers were inspired by “Sex and the City.”

    Marni: In this season of girlish delights, Consuelo
                                                                                                                                              Marni   Byblos
    Castiglioni missed the perfect opportunity to shine.
    Instead of doing what she does best — pretty, feminine

                                                                         milan
    clothes with a bohemian bent — she decided to tinker
    with proportions, sending out a collection that, while cut
    in those quintessentially cute Marni prints, got lost in the
    folds and flaps of her experimental architecture. In a
    style that Rei Kawakubo has mastered, skirts were
    draped to provide extra lumps and bumps, while coats
    came with oversized pocket pouches that poked out from
    within the lining. The sleeves of the cropped jackets
    bulged at the elbow. There were hanks, hunks, bunches.
       A few pieces, however, left you longing for more of
    their ilk — muted knits, which were worn with dappled
    prints, and a clever printed silk jacket coated in clear
    plastic and perfect for strolling in a spring rain.
    Castiglioni has always gone in her own direction,
    sticking with softer dressing at times when the rest of
    Milan embraced hard glamour. Now that so many have
    moved into her territory, it’s a shame she wasn’t there
    to greet them.

    Borbonese: It seems to be a happy marriage
    between Alessandro Dell’Acqua and Claude
    Arpels, whose investment group took
    control of both Dell’Acqua’s brand and
    Borbonese, which he also designs. These
    days, as evidenced by his signature
    collection, Dell’Acqua favors sensuality and
    quality over trashiness, and that same
    message came through in Borbonese, an
    accessories house eager to build an
    apparel business. He used a backdrop of
    simple yet sexy pieces to set off great
    accessories. A fleece-lined nylon parka
    over shorts, for instance, was teamed
    with an oversized clutch embossed
    with rhinestones, while a striped
    cotton shirt tucked inside a
    miniskirt was finished off with a
    roomy ostrich tote.
       For evening, Dell’Acqua sent out a series of
    black jersey pieces, including slip dresses and
    tank tops over skinny trousers, and in a more
    festive mood, sequined tank tops paired with frisky
    mini skirts. And neon brights took over in
    accessories in the form of an orange tote and high-
    heeled crocodile sandals.

    Byblos: The Byblos design trio — Stefano Citron,
    Federico Piaggi and Greg Meyler — loves three
    things: Sarah Jessica Parker, “Sex and the City” and
    New York. What they find especially inspiring,
    according to their press notes, is the “New York City
    doll style” that fuses soft shapes and fabrics with the
    city’s hard-edged attitude.
       That vision boiled down to three key looks, repeated
    in different colors and fabrics — flowy pleated-front
    silk tops and dresses in orchid prints with rigid Empire
    waistbands; structured vests and jackets with fur
    collars worn over bikini bottoms or skirts, and chiffon
    tops overlayed with chain mail and worn with padded
                                                                          ▲

                                                                             Borbonese
    skirts or cropped skinny pants. Carrie, Miranda,
    Samantha and Charlotte, take note.

             Featured Attractions
     Designers ignited the Milan spring runways with vibrant colors, wild prints and labor-intensive
     embellishments — and the accessories were right in sync, adding to the sensory overload. Footwear was a
     glitzy parade of bejeweled, gravity-defying stilettos and sandals. But low-heeled shoes and flats were
     important, too — ballerinas, beaded flip-flops, Sabrina pumps and interactive sneakers aglow with
     unexpected bursts of gold and silver. Sergio Rossi, for example, worked with pointed and round toes in a
     variety of heel heights. The more feminine shapes acquired a tough edge through insets of graphic metal
     hardware, while, for high drama, he showed strappy sandals made with Plexiglas strips and colorful
     rhinestones. Rossi also introduced a geometric handbag featuring a round metal ring on its strap.              Clockwise from left: Tod’s Candy bags;
         At Tod’s, it was Sixties-inspired Riviera glamour. The mood was best represented by the Candy bag,         Cesare Paciotti’s pumps; a necklace, belt
     shaped like a bon-bon with tiny bows on either side, and served up in delicious colors of everything from      and shoes at Prada; Bruno Magli’s sandal.
     python to satin. Another winner: the Sabrina shoe, a ballet slipper dotted with the company’s signature rubber
     pebbles. Meanwhile, Hogan showed its sporty side. A new lightweight sneaker with a perforated H on the side
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003                      9

Milan Buyers Delighted                                                                                                                         Sophistication Rules
                                                                                                                                                   When Marco Franchini, a former
                                                                                                                                               Gucci executive, joined Bally in April
                                                                                                                                               2002 as ceo, his mission was to boost
                                                                                                                                               growth by luring a new fashion-con-
Continued from page 2                                                                                     nine. There were references          scious clientele while keeping the
                                     Gucci                                                  Jil Sander
those who have known the                                                                                  to both the Fifties and the          firm’s loyal customer base. And this
family for so long. To make the                                                                           Twenties. I saw the Antonio          spring collection should help achieve
day even more special, Angela                                                                             Marras pieces in the show-           that goal. Design director Melissa
showed the best collection she                                                                            room and there was a strong          Maish, who replaced Scott Fellows last
has ever presented.”                                                                                      Fifties element that didn’t          December, dipped into the archives
                                                                                                          necessarily come through in          and served up a back-to-the-roots col-
Judy Collinson, executive vice                                                                            the show. My only concern as         lection, injected with just the right
president, Barneys New                                                                                    a retailer this season was the       dose of trends.
York: “From a retail stand-                                                                               trend of the shorts replacing            “It’s a very favorable moment for
point, it’s a very positive sea-                                                                          the miniskirt, which is great,       Bally,” said Franchini. “We feel that
son — upbeat, full of color                                                                               but I’m not sure how well it         we’re on the right track, and the fact
and a desire to make women                                                                                will be received in the              that fall sales are already up 35 per-
look beautiful. It’s been full                                                                            stores.”                             cent proves us right.” Other priorities
of clothes that you want to                                                                                                                    in his master plan include lower price
save up for — capri pants,                                                                                Majed Al-Sabah, owner, Villa         points, better quality and fit, new store
Fifties full skirts, beaded                                                                               Moda, Kuwait: “It’s all about        concepts and on-time deliveries.
necklines, very short pants,                                                                              an explosion of colors, the
bandeau tops, chiffon, prints,                                                                            best accessories, as in bags
ruffles and lots of dresses.                                                                              and shoes, and the Fifties
No black anywhere. It’s as if                                                                             skirt. Star collections includ-
designers wanted us to have                                                                               ed Prada and Gucci, and I’m
a lovely spring — their minds                                                                             so relieved with the great
were on pretty dresses and                                                                                evening selections at Dolce &
clothes to pack for a roman-                                                                              Gabbana, Fendi, Roberto
tic vacation.”                                                                                            Cavalli and Pucci.

Barbara Atkin, fashion direc-                                                                             Anne Pitcher, buying director
tor, Holt Renfrew: “I’m really                                       Prada                                for women’s apparel, Harvey
happy with what I’ve seen in                                                                              Nichols: “It’s been a great sea-
Milan. I found it colorful, up-                                                                           son. Spring is looking so pret-       Bally's
lifting, positive and happy,                                                                              ty, fresh, feminine and light.        six-pocket
with collections filled with                                                                              It’s just so happy, and it feels
                                                                                                                                                tote,
colors and prints. Miuccia                                                                                good to be happy again. I just
                                                                                                                                                trenchcoat
Prada is the true artist. She’s                                                                           loved Prada. It was hugely
absolutely unpredictable. And                                                                             commercial but with a real            and
Tom Ford is the true mar-                                                                                 point of view. Gucci was              sandals.
keter. He knows exactly what                                                                              strong, we loved the prints at
the Gucci customer wants and                                                                              Marni and Dolce & Gabbana,
he delivered with a strong col-                                                                           chaotic as they were.”
lection. Versace had beauti-
ful, sexy clothes and Armani                                                                              Jeffrey Kalinsky, owner,
offered what our customer                                                                                 Jeffrey, New York and Atlanta:
needs to have.”                                                                                           “I loved the Jil Sander show. I
                                                                                                          think it really set a tone. It
Joan Burstein, owner, Browns,        Versace                                                              summed up the season. It was
London: “Prints, that’s what                                                                              feminine and pretty, yet it was
it’s all about. It started in                                                                             so sophisticated, chic and
London. That’s the strongest                                                                              modern. It was refreshing.
message coming through. I                                                                                 Gucci was very strong. The
liked Prada very much. I                                                                                  Pucci show was a delight to
liked that image. The colors                                                                              all the senses. Marni was so
are beautiful — like the                                                                                  sophisticated and so chic, and
greens. That was a noncolor                                                                               the most exciting new design-
for years and now it is coming                                                                            ers out there are DSquared.”
in all shades.”
                                                                                                          Rosi Biffi, owner of six stores
Kohei Yanagisawa, executive                                                                               including Biffi and Banner in
managing director, Hankyu: “I                                                                             Milan: “Marni was fantastic, I
liked D&G and Prada. I’m                                                                                  loved all of it, it was extremely
also very interested in                                                                                   elegant, contemporary, so cre-
DSquared, which could be                                                                                  ative, but with a precise style.
popular in Japan. Goodbye to                                                                              I also loved Pucci, which was
black. There were so many                                                                                 very contemporary. This was a
colors. There were fewer                                                                                  fun, joyful season, and there
miniskirts and more pants,                                                                                was a strong effort from every-
which do well in the Japanese                                                                             one. There was a focus to try
market.”                                                                                                  to do one’s best. This is the            As for the accessories, there’s some-
                                                                                                          season of dresses and skirts,        thing for everyone. To avoid that annoy-
Anna Garner, fashion director,                                                                            which is a good direction be-        ing search for keys or a cell phone at
Henri Bendel: “Overall, the                                                                               cause everyone’s got enough          the bottom of a handbag, Bally’s come
mood is very up, very soft,                                                                               pants, so this opens up whole        up with a six-pocket tote in mustard
very romantic and very femi-                                                                              new opportunities.”                  yellow canvas trimmed in brown
                                                                                                                                               leather, while, for girly moments, there
                                                                                                                                               are cute white leather handbags show-
                                                                                                                                                                                           PHOTOS BY GIOVANNI GIANNONI, DAVIDE MAESTRI AND MAURICIO MIRANDA
▲

   Bold legwear at
                            was lit up with silver and gold leather strips, inserted in suede or cotton.                                       ered with appliquéd roses. Shoes range
 Dolce & Gabbana.
         ▲                     Cesare Paciotti tapped into the folkloric by adorning his sexy stiletto sandals with colorful embroidery,       from hand-molded, vegetable-dyed
            René Caovilla’s
                            beading and tiny mirrors. There were lacquered wooden mules, too, decorated with fuchsia or lime green mink        leather flip-flops to high tech cotton
          sandals and bag. strips. René Caovilla, a master of sexy red-carpet numbers, gussied up his sandals with big silk roses, straps      sneakers with ergonomic rubber soles
                             intertwined with wreaths of flowers and medallions lavished with turquoise and coral.                             and high-heeled cocktail numbers
                                 Under a new design team headed by Alexander Zschokke, the venerable Bruno Magli accessories company           adorned with leather flower medallions.
                             has launched a full-fledged handbag collection, best represented by the Ring bag in calf, python or crocodile         The clothes are primarily sophisti-
                             with leather strips encircling it. Magli also has introduced a limited-edition shoe collection of four colorful   cated basics that are not likely to be
                             pumps designed by artist Davide Pizzigoni. Fratelli Rossetti did ladylike shoes, too, with both high and low      relegated to the back of the closet as
                             heels. Mules and sandals were covered with flowers, while flat slip-ons featured white, gold and silver strips    the fashion tides swing. Among the
                             adorned with burnished metal coins.                                                                               best: perforated leather trenches that
                                 Hosiery, belts of all sorts and cascades of costume jewelry also were important this season. Stefano          can unbutton to transform into short
                             Gabbana and Domenico Dolce added to their Dolce & Gabbana print fest with panty hose exclusively printed          jackets; printed chiffon blouses peek-
                             in subtle patterns, while Mariella Burani had hers match the floral silks she used for her clothes. Meanwhile,    ing out of zip-front leather jackets worn
                             waist treatments ranged from tough chic to fairy-tale pretty. Miuccia Prada treated her snakeskin belts to        with shorts, and black halter tops over
                             match her clothes for Prada, while Rosella Tarabini used silver-buckled, raw-edged leather belts to set off her   black pants.
                             girly looks at Anna Molinari and Karl Lagerfeld showed wide belts at Fendi.
WWDTUESDAY - Women's Wear Daily
10   WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

 Linda Evangelista,
 ready for Versace

                                                                                      An emotional
                                                                                      moment for
                                           Fitting in at                              Jil Sander
                                           Roberto Cavalli                            backstage

                                           Ferré             DSquared's Wild Ones

                                                                                        DSquared, behind the bleachers

                                     image
                                      THE bank
 The Armani touch                     MILAN COLLECTIONS
 Missoni backstage

                                                                      Watching and
                                                                         waiting at
                                                                         Moschino

                                                                                      Tai and
                                                                                      Rosita
                                           Tycoon-in-                                 Missoni
                                           training,                                  walk
                                           PPR's                                      into a
                                           François                                   standing
                                           Henri Pinault                              ovation
WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003    11

                                                                                                                                                             Emporio
                                                                                                                                                              Armani

                                                                                                                               DSquared

The Missoni
workforce takes
a runway bow in
honor of the
company’s 50th.
                                                                                         ▲

Laughs by Lagerfeld                                                       The Pucci lineup

                                                                                                                                                               Gucci
Mariah takes the lead backstage after Versace, as Donatella and Beyoncé follow                       A Gucci face   Roberto Cavalli

                                                                                             Pucci
                                                                                                                                                                       PHOTOS BY DAVE YODER
12   WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003

 Fancy Free
                                                                                                                                    Fashion Scoops
                                                                                                                                    ROOM SERVICE: In yet another example that the
                                                                                                                                    runway isn’t indispensible, Berlin’s conceptual
                                                                                                                                    Bless label this week is taking its spring collection
                                                                                                                                    directly to editors in their Paris hotel rooms — the
                                                                                                                                    ones that stay at Costes K hotel anyway. Guests
                                                                                                                                    there will be able to use items such as cashmere
                                                                                                                                    sweaters and oversized towels during their stay.
                                                                                                                                     Furniture and other knickknacks also have been
 In Milan, you can have your espresso a dozen different ways design team, supervised by Francisco                                      designed for the rooms and will be available for
 — and the same is true of fashion. From contemporary so- Rosas, showed narrow and elongated                                            wholesale prices in the temporary Bless

                                                                                                          milan
 phisticates to trampy vamps to tailored perfection, Italian silhouettes with tight waists and                                           showroom off the lobby.
 houses offered enough variety for spring to give you a kick tailored pencil skirts in shades of
 without the caffeine.                                            brown; tweed flared skirts and                                         CHEAP AND NASTY: A year after publishing
     Now that Antonio Berardi has a new secondary line            ballerina corsets in pale rose, and                                    a couture-priced reprint of Yves Saint
 called 2die4, he seems less motivated to rein in the wacky       revisited the safari jacket with                                      Laurent’s cheeky 1967 comic strip, Nasty
 factor for his main collection. His show was an overkill of      oversized pockets. Of course, every                                  Lulu, a “ready-to-wear” version is slated for
 color, prints, accessories and embellishments. There were        lady who lunches also needs a drop-                                launch. Paris publisher Sand & Tchou this
 yoked skirts in floral shower plastic, mirrored and              dead gorgeous evening gown, and Genny’s                           November will release a $25 version of the
 embroidered vests over shredded and tiered skirts, sequin-       floor-length, strapless pleated chiffon dress in                  book, which was reprinted last year in a luxury
 laden handkerchief skirts under bustier tops, bunches of         graded tones from quartz to tourmaline would make quite           limited-edition run of 350, selling for $400.
 multicolored pom-poms dangling off tops and bottoms.             an entrance.                                                      The character, known as Vilaine Lulu in
 Sound a tad excessive? Well, why stop there. Berardi didn’t,         Agnona creative director Daniela Cattaneo knows her           French, was inspired by a Dior employee who
 gussying up everything with plastic bangles up to the elbow,     customer and stayed true to her lifestyle with a delightful       dressed himself up as a fat ugly girl for Mardi
 ultrabright patent sandals and                                                                spring collection. Tea in the        Gras. Saint Laurent wrote the cartoon to amuse
 crash helmets with rear mirrors.      Antonio         Exte     Cividini     Iceberg           garden? How about basket-            himself and his friends.
     They aim to please —                                                                      weave capris with a belted linen
                                       Berardi
 everyone, it seems. So the design                                                             jacket in salmon pink. Lunch         TEAM SPIRIT: Tomas Maier and the quirky
 team at Exte hopped from one                                                                  uptown? Try a teal cashmere          Project Alabama have joined forces on
 theme to another for spring,                                                                  twinset with a chocolate silk        limited-edition, hand-embroidered swimsuits
 touching on such disparate trends                                                             skirt. Cattaneo seems to become      for women and men. They will be launched at
 as Mod, disco flash, rapper looks                                                             more focused and graceful each       a cocktail party tonight during Paris fashion
 and pretty cocktail numbers.                                                                  season, and she has transformed      week. Maier, creative director of Bottega
 There were skimpy black leather                                                               Agnona from a knitwear brand to      Veneta, said he designed the suits and
 pieces decorated with macro                                                                   full-fledged ready-to-wear           Project Alabama did the embroidery. “There
 polkadots in red, yellow and                                                                  collection.                          are only 50 men’s suits and 100 women’s
 white; sequined HotPants and                                                                      Apart from the performance-      bikinis,” he noted.
 low-crotch denim rapper pants                                                                 art antics — men running around          Collaborations are increasingly in vogue.
 paired with printed silk tops, and                                                            the stage in overalls and pig        Elsewhere, Paris designer Jerome Dreyfuss has
 fitted white blouses worn over                                                                snouts, a violinist and a pas de     designed four outfits for Wrangler. Geared to
 swingy skirts in wallpaper stripes.                                                           deux between a man and a             “contemporary cowboys,” his denim looks are
 Take your pick.                                                                               mannequin’s torso — Holly            on view at his showroom here.
     Sport meets sexpot meets          Genny              Agnona            Samsonite          Krüeger sent out a sweet, spunky
 cartoon kitsch was the perplexing                                          Black Label        spring collection. There were        STARS AND STRAPS: “I’m still not used to
 combination that Paolo Gerani                                                                 charming pastel striped              seeing my work on display. I can feel quite out
 served up at Iceberg. There were                                                              miniskirts, off-the-shoulder,        of place at events like these,” said Mary
 sequined Mickey Mouse faces                                                                   cropped jackets nipped at the        McCartney at the opening of an exhibition in
 splashed on slinky halter tops or                                                             waist and elegant wrap dress         London of her photographs for the new Marks
 low-slung belts — certainly not                                                               coats that were ruched in back.      & Spencer MW lingerie line. Dressed in a gray
 what Walt originally had in mind                                                              Think Lucille Ball meets Gwen        suit designed by her younger sister, Stella,
 — paired with tiny silk jogging                                                               Stefani. This is her third season,   McCartney showed off the photos, which
 shorts with neon racer stripes.                                                               and the American designer            feature celebrities including Elizabeth Jagger,
 Iceberg plays to a woman who                                                                  successfully reined in her artsy     Theodora Richards and actress Patsy Palmer, at
 likes to keep her sleaze factor in                                                            (read: bizarre) tendencies to        Vinopolis, a gallery in southeast London.
 line with her sexual appetite and                                                             strike the right balance between     McCartney shot the color photos for in-store
 what better way to satisfy both                                                               feminine and kooky.                  displays and advertising. The new line,
 than with a purple-and-green,                                                                     Gigi Vezzola’s contract with     launched in nearly all M&S stores nationwide
 leopard-print chiffon halter dress?                             Brioni                        Samsonite Black Label ends with      last week, features feminine designs in pastel
 It seems that Pebbles Flintstone                                                              this season, and by the looks of     shades aimed at a target market of 25- to 35-
 grew up to be Pamela Anderson.                                                                the focused and innovative           year-olds. Prices for panties start at $8.35
     Knits, knits, knits — not! Piero                                                          collection he showed, he wanted      while bras start at $20.
 and Miriam Cividini stayed away                                                               to leave a lasting imprint.
 from their house’s signature                                                                  Trenchcoats, which fold neatly       ALL TOGETHER NOW: Grit Seymour, the former
 sweater looks for the most part,                                                              into bags, gelled nicely with        designer of the Boss Hugo Boss women’s
 and the result was pure ease with                                                             Samonsite’s utilitarian edge.        collection, is piecing things together. Literally.
 graphic accents. Low-slung                                                                    Vezzola, who is mum on his next      She and her husband, industrial designer
 pencil skirts in cotton eyelet,                                                               design gig, also spun some eye       Jerszy Seymour, will introduce their new
 slinky silk shirts, safari jackets                                                            candy with tie-dye shirtdresses      collection “tape” in the Palais de Tokyo in
 and layered silk shifts were                                                    Nicola        splattered with big polkadots, but   Paris through Oct. 15. It’s a no-sew collection,
 perfect for the cerebral type. But                Holly                         Del           he burned off the sugar with         featuring T-shirts and bikinis made of pieces of
 the pair did sneak in                 Capucci     Krüeger                       Verme         skinny skirts done in a charming     cotton and Lycra spandex or microfiber jersey
 multicolored striped knit tops,                                                               Prince of Wales pattern.             stuck together by polyurethane tape.
 which peeked out subtly from sleeveless belted jackets.              In his second season at Capucci, Bernhard Wilhelm                 The “result of a subverted experiment,”
     Meanwhile, it seems that Nicola Del Verme’s tenure as        respected the house’s signature constructed looks but             tape, to quote its creators, “is a collection of
 creative director of Vestimenta has helped the young             also experimented with more casual fare, like lime yellow         clothes held together by a super tape ready to
 designer become more commercial. While his tailoring has         drawstring jackets and cropped pants. Wilhelm attempted           do battle for good and evil to create clothes for
 always been strong, for spring it was deft with skinny           to update the company’s signature boxy looks, adding              the postindustrial superhero, funky
 jackets and high-waisted tuxedo pants. Del Verme is all          boxy sleeves to a classic polo shirt, but, at times, the          Frankenstein and sexy pink pantheress in all
 about urban oomph, and he clings to black and beiges,            results just looked fussy. The short Mod dresses were             of us.” And the tape is permanent, stretchy
                                                                                                                                                                                            PHOTOS BY GIOVANNI GIANNONI, DAVIDE MAESTRI AND MAURICIO MIRANDA

 tossing in the occasional blush pink. However, he justly         definitely lighter fare.                                          and washable.
 tempered his angst and slickness with finely layered chiffon         Who says that leather has to be intimidating? Not                 The collection of some 60 pieces (the
 halter-tops and gently pleated asymmetrical skirts.              Guiliana Teso, who thinks that simple lines and elegant           collection keeps growing, Grit said) has already
     Luisa Beccaria has quite a following in Tinseltown, with     colors are the right mixture for a sophisticated woman. No        been picked up by TAD in Rome and Quartier
 Uma Thurman and Charlize Theron among her fans. And              flash and over-the-top colors for Teso, who instead offered a     206 Departmentstore in Berlin.
 she kept them in mind with this collection. Backstage, she       subdued palette of turquoise, melon and beige. Pretty pink            The official opening on Thursday will
 said Hollywood served as inspiration, but she also wanted        suits, delicate beaded tops and suede pants made for an           feature the installation, “scum city” (edition
 to weave in wearable modern touches. So out came the             understated yet polished spring collection.                       Gallery Kreo) by Jerszy Seymour, the
 feminine Marilyn Monroe halter-back dresses and the                  Finally, Brioni is named for a set of islands off the         underground DJ-turned-designer whose design
 young, fresh black-and-cream polkadot silk minis paired          Croatian coast that, at its height during the Twenties and        work has been shown at the Design Museum in
 with striped cotton tops. Like a movie sequel, the collection    Thirties, served as a playground for Europe’s elite. Gentry,      London, the Vitra Museum and Centre
 had elements of Beccaria’s whimsy, but it ultimately relied      aristocracy and privileged lifestyles were the inspirations       Pompidou and is in the permanent collection
 too strongly on past references, including floral dresses and    for designer Fabio Piras. While he showed beautiful silk          of the Fondation Nationale d’Art Contemporain
 proper trenchcoats. Meanwhile, the designer is expanding         navy polkadot pants with a bordeaux dotted duster, great          in France. Karl Lagerfeld and Azzadine Alaïa
 her offerings, with more daywear, a new line of handbags         jackets and elegant wrap blazers, however, he lost his            also have taken home his limited-edition
 and swimsuits that suggested Esther Williams’ maillots.          footing with layered drop-waisted chiffon dresses. Brioni is      pieces for the Gallery Kreo in Paris.
     Prada-owned Genny strolled back to the Fifties à la          all about tailoring, and those frumpy dresses were the
 Wallis Simpson and Cecil Beaton portraits. The company’s         antithesis of it.
WWD, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2003   13

Chanel Starts Revamp Hat Trick
Continued from page one
materials are ubiquitous, but never ostentatious.
    “Everything has been done to enhance the products, not overpower them,” she said
during an exclusive preview of the store, which was expanded by some 3,400 square
feet and completely refurbished over the past year by interior designer Peter Marino.
“We have huge collections and we really need to be able to show what we have.”
    The Cambon store is the first of three “megastores” slated for special design treatment.
The next, a four-story unit in the Ginza district in Tokyo, is slated to bow in December
2004, with a major overhaul of the Manhattan flagship on 57th Street following in 2005.
    New features include an area dedicated to Chanel knitwear and innerwear — the
only one in the world — plus a sumptuous VIP area in the basement that’s roughly the
size of a one-bedroom apartment.
    “We wanted Cambon to be very special,” Montenay said, “and we want Chanel to sur-
prise. We have customers who come in two or three times a week and they want to see
new things.”
    That shouldn’t be a problem. The store is so large that visitors even have a choice of
three entrances — each with a signature white marble threshold. But the idea is for
shoppers to navigate through a series of intimate “salons,” each with a different product
focus and distinct decorative touches. Even the carpets — all beige and made of the high-
est quality wools and silks in the world — have subtly different weaves in each room.
    The idea, Montenay said, was to avoid monotony and uniformity, while maintaining
an overall color scheme and mood.
    Texture is practically a religion at the Rue Cambon store, where Marino took pains
to avoid any plain or flat surfaces. Where walls are painted black, they received a spe-
cial treatment to make them resemble rock. On close inspection, gleaming black or bur-
gundy enamel panels glint with embedded flecks of silver or gold. Some walls evoke
miniature piano keys. Others, luminescent as real pearls, are composed of woven                       One of the ready-to-wear salons.
fiberoptic threads — and then pressed behind glass.
    Some of the materials echo
Chanel’s famous tweeds, from
braided leather stools and nubby            Accessories are showcased in several areas in the store.
gold-flecked sofas to coffee tables
depicting matte gold metalwork.
    There are high tech features
interspersed throughout, too.
Giant, backlit images from Chanel
advertising campaigns, shot by
designer Karl Lagerfeld, peek out
from many alcoves, while flat-
screen TVs broadcast seasonal
fashion shows.
    Marino said his starting point for
the boutique was Gabrielle Chanel’s
famous apartment, which is located
several floors above.
    “We went through the Chanel
apartment and what I did was
keep the entire palette of white,
black, ivory and gold with a touch
of dark eggplant,” he explained.
“Then I tried to do everything in a
modern way. We’re trying to evoke
the feeling of Chanel — elegant,
chic and timeless.”
    Accessories are carried in sev-
eral rooms — and walls of sun-
glasses appear several times — but
the overall merchandising scheme
is relatively sparse. “We don’t want
to overwhelm the customers,”
Montenay said. “We want them to
feel free to roam around the store                                 A screen broadcasts Chanel
and discover things.”                                                  fashion shows regularly.
    Apart from the knitwear room,
ready-to-wear is housed in the back
of the store in space previously occu-
pied by Chanel offices and stock
rooms on adjacent Rue Duphot. In total, rtw by Lagerfeld gets about 2,700 square feet of space.
    Alight at the top of a brief flight of marble steps at the right time and visitors can
watch the Chanel runway show on a floor-to-ceiling screen in a darkened room. At other
times, the screen disappears, displaying Chanel sport looks. The final rtw room, in the
furthest recess of the store, is devoted to eveningwear. Here, mirrored panels are metic-
ulously wrapped in antique gold and silver ribbon — one mile’s worth.
    Chanel began overhauling its global network of 191 boutiques and corners four years
ago, starting with a remote location in a commercial center in Japan and tweaking,
refining and individualizing the concept as it went along. The entire program should be
completed by the end of next year.
    But Montenay stressed that it’s an ongoing work to perfect and individualize bou-
tiques. “In most of the stores, we have a specific atmosphere. A store in Austria is not
the same as in Spain,” she said. “They are from the same family, but they are not iden-
tical. Each has its own personality.”
                                                                                                                                                                                         PHOTOS BY STEPHANE FEUGERE AND OLIVIER SAILLANT

    The Cambon location has a rich history, since the legendary designer opened her
first boutique at No. 31 back in 1921. Today, the building also houses the couture salon,
offices and Lagerfeld’s design studios.
    Closely held Chanel, owned by the Wertheimer family, never provides financial
information and Montenay declined to give sales projections for the large store.
However, she could not hide the fact that rtw has been selling briskly at Rue Cambon.
Some wall-mounted pegs, meant to showcase outfits from Lagerfeld’s collection, dis-
played handbags because the store has already sold 85 percent of its fall-winter inven-
tory throughout Europe, she said. “We are now waiting for the cruise collection, which
should arrive at the end of October,” she said.
    She declined to pinpoint sell-through figures for other markets, but noted Chanel
sales in the U.S. are up about 37 percent for the season. As reported, Bergdorf Goodman
sold $3.1 million at a fall trunk show for Chanel last May, breaking records for the store           The view from the entrance toward the ready-to-wear level.
and for New York.
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