New York Fashion. The State of the Union 2008

December 11, 2007 • Fashion

Ralph Lauren

As if the fashion spotlight wasn’t already shinning brightly on New York…2008’s could be more brilliant.

designers such as Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein continue to expand globally, there’s
also an ongoing interest in the city’s young talent for collaborations
with retailers like Target and for top design jobs at European houses.
Better still, private equity funds continue to be loving all things fashionable as they are doling out plenty of cash to help designers grow their businesses.

This upcoming New York fashion week in February, two legendary American fashion houses, Halston and Bill
Blass, are scheduled to take their highly anticipated stabs at

Bill Blass

Halston was bought by The Weinstein Co. (yes, entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein) and Hilco
Consumer Capital last March. Weinstein, along with that of Tamara Mellon, who turned Jimmy Choo
into a luxury brand, and Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe, have generated a
lot of buzz for this relaunch.

Peter Som will try to update Bill Blass, having been tapped as the creative director
of its women’s division last July. Som’s goal is to make the house relevant his century. He will show his full vision on his
first runway outing in February.

It is also worth watching how
several designers who sold a stake in their businesses or signed
collaboration deals this year will grow their businesses in 2008. For
some of these designers, the much-needed cash will help them move from
emerging talent to establishment.

Som, for instance, sold a
majority stake of his own firm to NRDC Equity Partners, the owner of
Lord & Taylor, last September and is expected to expand his
business next year.


Rodriguez, who you may remember sold a 50% stake in his business to Liz Claiborne
Inc. last May, is expected to grow his wholesale network and make a real
push in accessories. Proenza
Schouler (Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough) who sold a stake in
their business to Valentino Fashion Group last July, are also looking to expand their accessories footprint and possibly open their
first freestanding store.

Others that have opened stores or are expected to since an infusion from investors include; Rachel Roy and Adam Lippes.

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