BIRKENSTOCK BOX X RICK OWENS

THE BIRKENSTOCK BOX VENTURES INTO CALIFORNIA IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RICK OWENS #BIRKENSTOCKBOX

Designed by Gonzalez Haase AAS, BIRKENSTOCK's mobile, spatial retail concept continues its travel in the US, moving to the West Coast in partnership with Rick Owens opening in April 2018.

The full collection will have its global premiere in Los Angeles at the BIRKENSTOCK BOX, which will be placed in front of the Rick Owens store on La Brea Avenue. Casual sportswear and cashmere separates designed by Rick Owens will also be exclusively available for purchase at the BOX. 

Following stops in Berlin with Andreas Murkudis, New York with Barneys New York and Milan with 10 Corso Como, the Los Angeles outpost offers yet another unique viewpoint on design and architecture. It will feature a Limited Edition Cosmetics Kit, as well as a curated edit of BIRKENSTOCK Spring / Summer 18 styles.

The BIRKENSTOCK BOX consists of converted freight containers, which play host to each partner's interior concept and merchandize proposition. In this site-specific iteration, the Box's interior is designed by Rick Owens and incorporates the retail design elements from the Rick Owens New York store.

The Rick Owens BIRKENSTOCK BOX will carry a limited collection of BIRKENSTOCK styles created with Rick Owens, consisting of thirteen sandal styles and three legwear styles. Rick Owens took the classic BIRKENSTOCK styles Arizona, Madrid and Boston and added an element of confection to it by extending the straps almost to the floor and simultaneously extending the holes in the straps. The bespoke styles feature the classic sandal styles in four different fabrications, consisting of army felt, suede, full grain leather and longhair cow fur – all with a full leather footbed lining, retailing from 350 USD to 525 USD. The legwear styles retail from 100 USD.

All bespoke BIRKENSTOCK x Rick Owens sandal and legwear styles are available for pre-order now on rickowens.eu and launch on all Rick Owens and Birkenstock channels in April.

fashionado

UNOde50 - A Creative Universe comes to Atlanta

A Spanish brand of handcrafted jewelry whose hallmark is its unique and distinctive design, UNOde50 was founded in the late 1990s by a group of creative artists who resolved to create a fashion jewelry brand that would break all existing molds. Designing pieces in their own unique style, the brand soon became known for its innovative and trendsetting approach. UNOde50 was launched with the original and exclusive philosophy of creating 50 of each design, giving rise to the brand name. After being acquired by arbiter of design, José Azulay, what followed was a revolution in which the techniques and processes of traditional jewelry-making were replaced by a newly cultivated process of creating characteristic jewelry with decidedly original designs.

As part of the commitment, UNO constructs and manufactures its products at the headquarters in Madrid. The element of “Made in Spain,” the personality and Spanish DNA of each UNOde50 piece are guarantees of the quality and assurance transmitted by a work of creativity that is full of vitality, optimism and a zest for life. A brand that doesn’t settle for conform, the collection of iconic pieces continues to grow, accumulating history and passion along the way. In the process of experimentation, the use of new materials and combinations helps advance, improve, evolve, with the same desire to create jewelry that is daring and individual. 

Edgy and before its time, each piece is a work of art, a distinctive piece with a voice that conveys strength and energy. Created, organic designs based on forms found in nature, UNOde50 jewelry is inspired by emotions that trigger unique sensations and take pride in being perfectly imperfect, brave, and able to evoke a suggestive and stimulating universe of feeling. Each of its pieces are unmistakable thanks to the use of a proprietary alloy that respects the artisanal nature of the manufacturing process. In addition to leather, crystals and pearls, the alloy used by the brand is one of its distinguishing features. An iconography that is embodied in the two collections UNOde50 launches each year, the alloy covers organic designs inspired by everyday objects and natural forms.

Not only creating pieces specific for men and women, the Madrid-born jewelry brand known for its bold, creative handcrafted designs, has also recently launched Genderless by UNOde50.  A new, gender neutral collection that symbolizes the strongest unions, embraces gender equality, and reaffirms freedom of expression.  Genderless by UNOde50 is a statement of “Love Has No Rules.” Love should always be celebrated and never judged.  Love is genderless. Unisex pieces have always been a part of UNOde50’s brand DNA. The new collection, consisting of eight curated bracelet sets, provides a sleek modern look for loved ones to express their unity. The bracelet combinations, inspired by UNOde50’s most iconic designs offer unique styles in gold and silver, with select styles juxtaposed with genuine leather. Genderless by UNOde50 celebrates love, empowerment, and being true to oneself. This nonconformist and visionary spirit has always been a part of UNOde50’s core values. 

fashionado

BALMAIN OPENS ITS FIRST ITALIAN FLAGSHIP IN MILAN

Balmain is pleased to announce the opening of its first Italian flagship. Set on Milan’s prestigious Via Montenapoleone, the 280-square-meter boutique sets out the brand’s women’s and accessories collections on two floors. The interior introduces a new store concept for the brand, conceived by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing and designed in partnership with the three young architects from Paris’ Studio AMV: Anna Philippou, Marie-Charlotte Prosperi-Fouchard and Victoire Guerlay. 

The Location: Montenapoleone

“I was born and raised in Milan—but, the truth is, opening here has little to do with hometown pride,” explains Massimo Piombini, Balmain’s CEO. “Montenapoleone is one of the world’s iconic retail addresses—there are probably only five other locations in the world like this one—and after opening in SoHo, Mayfair and Melrose, this was the logical next step for Balmain.”

The Brief: A Clear Focus on Balmain Paris

Each Balmain address channels the unique history of the house and the new Milan boutique is no exception. The iconic original Paris flagship was revamped as a classic Parisian apartment for founder Pierre Balmain, London was designed to be M. Balmain’s would-have-been Mayfair pied-à-terre and both the Melrose and SoHo spaces were inspired by Villa Balmain, Pierre Balmain’s cliffside mid-century retreat on the Italian island of Elba. For Milan, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing directed the architects at Studio AMV to focus on the house’s Parisian roots. “Since this design will serve as a prototype for all future addresses, Olivier wanted the stress to be placed squarely on the second part of the house’s official name: Balmain Paris,” explained Anna Philippou of Studio AMV. “He made it clear to us that he wanted Balmain to transport Paris to all corners of the globe, to make each Balmain visitor feel the atmosphere of Paris, wherever they may be in the world. But he also ensured—at every step of the process—that this was done in a modern fresh way, that avoided all the expected clichés.”

The Inspiration: The Classic Parisian Hôtel Particulier

Rousteing oversaw Studio AMV’s efforts to create the house’s new store concept. “Our brainstorming sessions took off from a consensus on the need to riff on classic Parisian residential architecture,” explains Rousteing. “From there, we ended up breaking down the codes of the hôtel particulier into ten particular elements, each of which was then associated with one key Balmain signature. Since I wanted the retail experience to stress experience, intimacy and discovery, we divided the space into a series of connected, distinct rooms, each inspired by the look of a living space (library, garden, boudoir, etc) and each dedicated to the display of one Balmain collection.”

The Choices: Classics, With A Modern Outlook

“In many ways, Milan’s interior echoes the guiding principles behind all of our Balmain collections,” explains Rousteing. “While each runway offering acknowledges and salutes the house’s singular heritage and impressive savoir-faire, my team and I always ensure that we are, above all, designing for how today’s generation lives and dresses. That same historic-modern duality can be spotted in the new prototype design for Milan. The parquet, moldings, chandeliers, curtains and mirrors all make clear references to classic elements—but we’re definitely not trying to create some sort of museum piece or dollhouse. Instead, what we’ve done is to play with each historical reference, making sure that designs are modern as well as elegantly crafted from the finest materials. This is a space where I know that the Balmain Army would definitely feel at home.”

Opening Celebration:

To celebrate the Milan opening, Balmain has set up an ephemeral lounge behind the flagship’s large arched window on via Montenapoleone. There, the house will present a virtual-reality adventure called “My City of Lights.” Visitors are invited to don an Olivier Rousteing-designed Oculus headset in order to immerse themselves in a special design journey, led by Rousteing, exploring the fears, inspirations and emotions that the Creative Director encounters each season while creating a new runway offering. “My City of Lights” will remain in the new Milan flagship until April 29th, after which it will begin traveling to other Balmain addresses across the globe.

fashionado

NORDSTROM MEN'S STORE NYC OPENS Retailer Debuts First Manhattan Flagship

Nordstrom, Inc. opened the doors this to its very first flagship, full-line New York City location and first ever stand-alone men's store at 235 West 57th Street. The three-level 47,000 square foot store offers a differentiated merchandise assortment across all categories, including popular and designer brands, along with a range of convenient services to serve customers on their terms.

EXCLUSIVE MERCHANDISE CONCEPTS

Olivia Kim, Nordstrom vice president of creative projects has curated a special Comme des Garçons (CDG) shop that will feature one of the largest local selections of the fashion house's coveted brands. Olivia commissioned artist Marc Hundley to design a space that invokes both the ethos of CDG and the streets of New York City. In a first for Nordstrom, the men's flagship will also feature designer shops by Calvin Klein, BalenciagaValentino, and Dior. Each space is united by a chainmail motif, but are distinguished by personalized fixtures adhering to each brand. The shoe department houses a Christian Louboutin shop displaying a wide range of the shoemaker's sporty and formal offerings. The Nike Men's Project, a sportswear and shoe destination for style and fitness-obsessed customers, will offer the brand's latest sneakers and apparel collections.

The store also features an array of customization and personalization experiences, including the Levi's Tailor Shop, where customers can shop Levi's Authorized Vintage, one of the largest vintage denim collections in existence, and also design custom embroidery on any item, heat press a shirt or get an express hem while they wait; Shinolawill offer watch customization in addition to a selection of tech products; exclusive to the flagship, Samuelson Custom Suit Visualizer is an interactive digital made-to-measure suiting experience at an accessible price point; Eton Endless Aisle is a digital touchscreen offering an expanded assortment of dress shirts and ties; and cult-favorite Le Labo will create personalized fragrance labels in the grooming department.

To celebrate the Nordstrom opening, brands have created limited-time exclusives, such as Cole Haan NYCH, a curated quarterly collection only available for 30 days, exclusive denim fit and wash options from Rag & BonePaigeAG JeansCitizens of Humanity, an exclusive camo jacket by Canada Goose and footwear from Timberland and Magnanni.

BRAND ASSORTMENT

Customers can shop a comprehensive selection of apparel brands across a broad range of price points, including Adidas, Carhartt WIP, Rodd & Gunn, Stone Island, Death to Tennis, Norse Projects, Lemaire, Moncler, Canali, Topman, Ted Baker London, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Tiger of Sweden and Givenchy. The accessories department houses brands like Foundwell, Ray Ban, Moscot, Mykita, Prada and Loewe. The vast shoe department will includeReebok, Common Projects, Vans, Alden, Church's, Salvatore Ferragamo, Balenciaga, Gucci and exclusives from Greats and Jack Erwin.

The grooming department will introduce to the U.S., barber-created Murdock London, who will be sending barbers to New York for special appearances. Saturdays NYCwill launch product alongside brands like ProrasoKiehl'sTom Ford Grooming and exclusive Ted's Grooming Room by Ted Baker London. An extensive fragrance selection will include options from Parfums de Marly, By Killian, Chanel, Valentino, Prada, Armani, Dior and many others.

SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE

Nordstrom is committed to serving customers on their terms and the Men's Store will offer a number of shopping services that provide convenience, speed and ease. At each store entrance shoppers will find Express Returns kiosks, plus Style Boards, 24/7 Buy Online & Pick-Up in Store, Reserve Online & Try in Store and Three-Hour Same Day Delivery anywhere in Manhattan, all which seek to bridge the convenience of online shopping with the personal experience of the store. Shoppers will have access to 24/7 Express Services during all hours for fashion emergencies like lost luggage or items that went unpacked, in addition a cell phone charging station, expert Shoeshine, an onsite Alternations & Tailoring department, and Complimentary Personal Stylists.

In the Clubhouse Bar customers can treat themselves to a drink or meal, while taking in intimate views of Central Park and Columbus circle. Hand-crafted cocktails, a selection of fine wines, as well and carefully selected snacks with seasonality in mind, including warm toasts, indulgent melts and a signature lobster roll developed by Nordstrom Chefs will be available. The Coffee Shop will feature Toby's Estate Coffee, a small batch roaster based in Brooklyn, serving unique handcrafted drinks by skilled baristas. As an added twist, the coffee bar will also offer draft beer on tap in addition to a section of local pastries.

The Nordstrom Men's Store NYC features the company's newest store design concepts, including an all-glass façade to bring in more natural light, unboxing the display windows, and connecting the shopping experience to the city. An open, flexible floor plan allows for an evolving curation of how products are displayed over time, depending on what New York customers respond to. The store environment will create a sense of discovery, allowing customers to navigate easily and find new brands they haven't experienced before.

Nordstrom has been a longtime believer of investing in artwork for its stores. New Yorkers will experience an extensive collection, featuring 39 works by both international and American artists, with a quarter being local. Suspended in the center of a three-story staircase, a floating, diaphanous tree sculpture entitled "Arctic Tree" by the Seattle-based artist John Grade is a nod to the retailer's Seattle roots.

COMMUNITY

Nordstrom believes we have a responsibility to give back to the communities we serve, so each year we donate 1% of our gift card sales to worthy nonprofits in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Our contributions most often take the form of a cash grant, but we are also proud to partner with local and national organizations through specific giving programs and by volunteering our time and resources.

As part of our Men's Store opening and as we continue to expand our presence in the New York metro area we have committed $5million dollars to NYC over the next three years. To stay true to our Nordstrom Cares mission we plan to support a number of programs and organizations that care for kids and empower youth, as well as those that have a significant impact on the community. In the coming months, Nordstrom will be forming a NYC Community Advisory Board to attract, vet and award community grants. We are proud to announce our first grant will be to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation's oldest, and largest, organization supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to reach their full potential.

fashionado

ARMANI EXCHANGE CELEBRATES ITS “NEW ENERGY, SAME SPIRIT” LAUNCH EVENT WITH MARTIN GARRIX IN ANTWERP

armani-exchange.jpg

A|X Armani Exchange celebrated its ‘New Energy, Same Spirit’ event with a special performance by Martin Garrix, the brand’s testimonial, at A|X Armani Exchange Antwerp Store.

The 524 square meter store - previously under the Armani Jeans label as a consequence of the reorganization of the brand portfolio of the Armani Group announced in July 2017 - features the new concept for the relaunch of the brand A|X. Raw steel, aged wood, industrial planks and concrete walls create a space that makes a strong material and sensorial impact and evoke the industrial interior of a young and dynamic New York.

The event was attended by Antwerp’s social, fashion and music scene.

During this occasion, A|X Armani Exchange renews the #st_ART project, an initiative focused on the metropolitan and artistic vocation of A|X Armani Exchange. The project offers a small selection of t-shirt, glasses and watches created by seven international artists from the world of graphic design and visual arts. 

The event marks a fundamental step in the re-launch of A|X, which continues its expansion plan having been wholly reacquired by the Armani Group in 2014, part of its strategy to reorganise its brand portfolio. This repositioning allows the brand to re-establish itself as the ambassador of the new Italian streetwear.

fashionado

Fashion Lives & Fashion Talks with Fern Mallis

The book is titled: Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis. There's also an interview series by the same name where Fern Mallis sits with some of the biggest names in fashion and has a conversations about life and career. Before all of this, Fern was the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and she is credited as the creator of New York Fashion Week. Fern Mallis, it's fair to say, is a fashion icon, in her own right. I had the privilege of speaking with Fern during her annual engagement with Charleston Fashion Week where she serves as lead judge and special guest. Fern is such a great storyteller and with her prominent position within the fashion world, her contributions to the industry and the fact that she knows everybody in it (and is so well respected) well,  she had plenty of stories to tell.

Video production by Michael Weston.

fashionado

Designer Spotlight Interview with Michael Howard of Smock Me

By: Carley Schumann
Photography by: Eva Maria Guggenberger | EMG Photography

smock me

Style Fashion Week visited the West Hollywood studio of emerging designer, Michael Howard—the creative mind behind Smock Me. See below for sneak-peaks of the collection and a full interview with Michael about his beginnings as a designer and insights on his career as he continues to build his vision.

smock me

Entering the studio, we were immediately greeted by Michael's mischievous pig, Mr. Meat, who has become the inspiration behind of some of Smock Me's upcoming designs. Mr. Meat, the SmockMe pig, has a wardrobe of his own and changes his hair color frequently—check out his Instagram @mr.meat_ He definitely takes after his father. 

As we talked, I sifted through the many unique designs draped amongst the racks, when one particular jacket caught my eye. The back read, “Fear is Fuel for the Soul.”  He walked me outside of his studio to reveal the mantra painted on the wall as well.  “I came here with nothing but my backpack.” He explained. 

It was eight years ago, after losing both of his parents, that he decided that it was time to immerse himself in a new environment. He packed his backpack, and left for Los Angeles without a plan. He explained how the fear of the unknown propelled him forward on his journey. Without a place to stay, he ran into a friend on his first day in town, who gave him a temporary home as he established himself in his new surroundings. He experimented in acting, but when it failed to inspire him, he began working and designing for a shop on Melrose. He additionally began teaching himself to sew. 

 Michael Howard

Michael Howard

Growing up in the Brooklyn 90’s, Michael has always found inspiration in brands like Iceberg and Coogi. He also finds inspiration in vintage cartoons like Rocco’s Modern Life, CatDog and others that bring his audience feelings childhood nostalgia. Fashion and the expression of dress was always something he admired—specifically, unique pieces that couldn’t be replicated. He was never interested in fashion that felt like something “everyone else was wearing.” 

It was three years ago when he designed his first piece. The garment was a second hand jean jacket, which he distressed and customized by attaching some 1930’s Pop-Eye characters from his collection. He placed the jacket in the Melrose storefront where he was working. When almost immediately, a customer recognized the value and uniqueness of the garment, Michael knew he was onto something. He began designing more distinct pieces for himself and his friends, and when they continued to receive a tremendous amount of attention when wearing the garments, Smock Me was born. 

Michael takes pride in the originality of each garment. Each piece is a reflection of the emotion and inspiration that was flowing within him on the moment of creation. While these core pieces can never be replicated, he has begun to incorporate graphic design into his collections. He intends for the Smock Me graphic collection to be similar in exclusivity to his core designs—once released, there will be only a limited amount of each graphic collection available. His first graphic collection will debut during Style Fashion Week Palm Springs. 

On April 6th at the Palm Springs Air Museum, guests can look forward to a collection launch which will include Smock Me core, graphic, swim and accessories. Smock Me presented his first collective during New York Fashion Week this past February. This will be his first time showing with Style Fashion Week. 

Michael continues to let the unknown guide him in all of his endeavors, creating each moment with the stroke of his brush and letting his intuition lead the way. We look forward to his collection debut at Style Fashion Week, Palm Springs. 

fashionado