Matthew Williamson to do Macy’s Line.
Matthew Williamson is next up in Macy’s designer capsule collection series, a key component in the store’s accelerating strategy to woo younger shoppers and project a hipper image.
Williamson will give a bright, bohemian edge to Macy’s selling floors, creating embellished day and party dresses, printed scarves, and day-to-evening rompers, among other items, about 30 styles in all. The line launches April 13 in 225 doors and on macys.com. Prices will range from $50 for a blouse to $150 for dress, with some more expensive items, such as leather and suede jackets, priced up to $300. An advertising campaign with model Dree Hemingway breaks Tuesday.
Macy’s executives acknowledge the store doesn’t command a fair share of the younger fashion market, and does a better job selling traditional and better brands for the misses customer. But they’ve been trying to pump up the Impulse contemporary floor by bringing in guest designers to create exclusive collections with a run of about two months each on the selling floors.
“The most important thing is finding designers that best represent what the trends are of the moment,” said Molly Langenstein, Macy’s Inc. executive vice president of fashion and new business. “This spring, the Seventies prints and colors are strong influences, and Matthew exudes those. He is tremendous at pops of strong color and he does dynamic prints reminiscent of the Seventies and the disco era.” said Williamson: “The collection aims to capture the essence of the mainline brand, with a focus on effortless glamour; dynamic prints; loosely structured silhouettes, and pops of strong color.”
British designer Kinder Aggugini, due to his tailoring skills and trends favoring more structured products such as jackets, kicked off the series. Karl Lagerfeld will follow Williamson. A fourth designer also will create a capsule collection but Macy’s has not revealed the designer’s identity. Langenstein said with each capsule collection the intent is to capture as close as possible the designer’s aesthetic but at the Macy’s price point.
Last month, Macy’s furthered its Impulse contemporary strategy by launching the Bar III private label for women and men. In addition, different categories selling contemporary merchandise, including men’s, handbags, and shoes, are being branded Impulse. Ultimately, Macy’s sees Impulse departments operating in 400 doors from about 225 currently.
L’Air de Nina Ricci, which launches starting in early April, is a next-generation L’Air du Temps.
“We wanted to rewrite in 2011 the story of L’Air du Temps’ values — peace, love and freedom,” said Laura Mattei de Pommereau, group manager for Nina Ricci at Puig Beauty and Fashion Group. “We wanted to create a product that can exist alongside L’Air du Temps but can seduce a new generation of women who didn’t necessarily know [it].”
L’Air’s target is women aged 25 and older, she explained.
“For us, this product is really the incarnation of the new woman, the girl of today,” continued Mattei de Pommereau.
L’Air’s juice is a reinterpreted floral. Concocted by Givaudan perfumers Louise Turner and Michel Girard, it includes top notes of freesia, honeysuckle and violet leaves. In the fragrance’s heart are magnolia, jasmine sambac and Bulgarian rose notes, and in its base are palisander wood and patchouli notes.
L’Air de Nina Ricci
Clare Waight Keller Leaves Pringle of Scotland
More changes are afoot at Pringle of Scotland, where Clare Waight Keller, the brand’s creative director since 2005, has resigned her post. An announcement is expected today.
“It’s a sad moment — but the perfect time to close my era at Pringle. I leave incredibly proud of Pringle’s growth from a Scottish knitwear company to an international luxury brand,” said Waight Keller, who showed her final collection during London Fashion Week last month.
“And to a certain extent, this move is for personal reasons,” added the designer, who is expecting her third child in May.
Douglas Fang, a member of the family that owns Pringle, said his family was “absolutely committed” to Pringle, and was eager to continue building the brand. “It’s been a great journey with Clare, a great five-and a-half years,” he told WWD, adding that a search was on for her successor.
The Fang family business, S.C. Fang & Sons Co. Ltd., acquired Pringle from Dawson International plc in 2000.
Waight Keller’s resignation comes on the heels of a management shake-up last month. Mary-Adair Macaire stepped down from her post as chief executive officer after a little more than two years. She was replaced by Jean Fang, also a member of the owning family.
“Clare’s unique understanding of knitwear and design talent allowed her to modernize the image of Pringle, while remaining true to its heritage. Clare will be greatly missed,” said Douglas Fang.
During her 11 seasons at Pringle, Waight Keller, a knitwear expert, helped to update the brand’s image while keeping knitwear at its core. She also worked closely on the company’s recent collaborations with artists such as David Shrigley and Richard Wright, and actress Tilda Swinton.
Pringle of Scotland RTW Fall 2011 Clare Waight Keller