Weekend Update, #NYFW Style: Hanging with Peyton List, Travi$ Scott, and Happy Models

Peyton List and BlackBook’s Sara Spruch-Feiner at Nanette Lepore. Via @sarajanenyc on Instagram.

Alyssa: Hey girls!

Emily: Hello!!  What’d you get up to today?

Alyssa: It’s so bad but every time someone asks me that I have to look at my calendar. I’m losing my mind. Hopefully not really. Hold please. Where were you today?

Sara: Today has been insane. Honestly these are the moments I remember why I love fashion. There is a frenetic energy in this industry that is essentially inimitable. The people, their creativity is truly one-of-a-kind. I’m writing to you guys from Queen of the Night at the Paramount Hotel which is insane. We just cleared out table by THROWING dishes across a room. We are here for the new Noble collection by William Rast. It is a huge acrobatics show. The woman next to me is a horse vet and has been here before. She is showing me the ropes. It’s very interactive. We were fed short rib and wine and grapes. It’s an acrobatics show. The seats are upholstered in leopard velvet.

It was also the last day of Linda Honan’s FFF at the Highline hotel.  I dropped by Mary Helen Bowers’ Ballet Beautiful class. So that obviously necessitated a trip back to the Zappos braid bar and this time I got pics! #obsessed

Emily: Cute! I was at Alejandro Ingelmo’s presentation at Robert Miller gallery–the shoes were beautiful and it was awesome having the event at a gallery.

Alyssa: Ooh, a little art and fashion. Who was showing?

Emily: Peter Sacks. The shoes were so polished and it was cool to have them set against the backdrop of rough, texturized, modern art.


Alyssa: So cool. I started out with DKNY, which I love loved. Coolest shoes, kind of platform sneakers… great clothes that were sporty and street but chic. Styling was great. Totally a celebration of New York and real New Yorkers. Basically I want it all.

And then I spent some time with the dudes today… Mark McNairy then the men’s presentations at Milk. Mark McNairy was so fun. Everyone (models included) had a beer in hand, and Travi$ Scott opened and closed the show. Kid is energetic. There was also a shirt that read: M*A*S*H Potatoes — I mean… Fun vibes at McNasty.

Sara: That’s funny — I raced to William Rast from the tents where I saw Nanette Lepore. I was there with actress Peyton List who is just the best. (More on her later). She sat with the cast of Orange is the New Black in the front row. And then with Carmen Electra in the MBFW lounge.

Nanette’s final model was her daughter, Violet, who drew huge cheers from the crowd. The finale was a spectacular dance party/conga line led by Nanette and Violet. The models looked like they were having so much fun!!

Alyssa: Love a good model dance party. Everyone was having fun today, including the boys at Pyer Moss, who paused mid-presentation for the all important #selfie. Usher was there… if only we’d gotten him to dance, too.

Sara: I did not have my dancing shoes on today. My feet are killing me–I put on 6 inch heels to hang out with Peyton who still towered over me 🙂

We had so much fun! She wore a blue suit by Nanette Lepore and looked unbelievable.

Emily: I feel you on the foot pain (glamorous), I’ve sworn off them for the remainder of fashion week.  Pretty sure the only people wearing heels have drivers.  That or flip flops in their purse.

Alyssa: Today at Eckhaus Latta I saw a girl carrying Timbs in clear plastic bag, the kind I use to organize stuff in my styling kit. Not so chic… but practical? Ooh and our girl Hari Nef was there, modeling in the show. Hari was in Hood By Air before that, too. BlackBook on the runway, bbs!

(P.S. you can follow us through #NYFW on Instagram at @alyssashapiro@sarajanenyc. And of course, @blackbookmag.)

A Night of Fashion & Charity: The 33rd Annual American Image Awards

Last night, the 33rd Annual American Image Awards honored the marketing geniuses who help build companies like UGG and William Rast into the global brands they are today. All of the proceeds from the event went to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a total that was said to reach around $1.1 million. The show was hosted by TV personality Robert Verdi, who I had a chance to chat with on the red carpet. Verdi, who was decked out in seriously shiny patent leather Sergio Rossi shoes and a Piaget diamond encrusted watch, bragged, “I’m really, really rich. I can afford sex and diamonds!”

But mention of his McQueen sunglasses caused the flamboyant style to get serious. “I wear them everyday to honor him,” Verdi said. “He was such a brilliant talent and it was such a devastating loss.”

Next, I spoke with Colin Dyne of William Rast, winner of Brand of the Year. William Rast is Justin Timberlake’s clothing company, and has become a major label since its birth six years ago. Dyne was sporting William Rast jeans and a shirt and jacket from J. Lindeberg, partner company to William Rast. He said he was “honored” to be awarded with Brand of the Year after such a short time. He also said he and Justin Timberlake hang out all the time and that he’s an “amazing partner” in the company. Great jeans and hanging out with Justin Timberlake all the time? Duh, winning!

After a couple near-misses I finally found Donna Karan, easily the busiest woman of the evening. (Her company’s CEO & Chairman, Mark Weber, was being awarded Man of the Year.) I gushed about how she’s my favorite designer, and she gushed about how I was her favorite reporter. Well, sort of. What she actually said was “I wish my daughter felt that way! She wore Donna Karan, so I started DKNY for her. But before that, she had to wear Donna Karan. She used to rob my closet!” Then she went on to say, “I just opened my spring collection from Urban Zen. It’s buy now, so it’s not ahead of season, it’s in season. And that’s something I feel really strongly about. For the customer to be able to buy in the current season.”

Presenters included Whoop Goldberg, Susan Plagemann of Vogue, and Mike Milken. Other Winners included Neiman Marcus for Retailer of the Year, UGG Australia for Footwear of the Year, and Ruben & Isabel Toledo for Fashion Maverick. See full details about the annual American Image Awards and The Apparel and Footwear Association here.

After McQueen & Rodarte, Hot Moms Finally Get a Target Collection

After William Rast’s recent unsuccessful collaboration with Target, we’re ready for another big name to drop that inspires mania more akin the Zac Posen and Lanvin collections. However, the next designer slated to team up with Target is Calypso St. Barth, which you might not be familiar with unless you’re over 40 and perpetually on a beach vacation – seemingly the only type of woman who can afford the clothes.

Known for their high-priced gauzy ikat tunics, the Target line will range from $1.99 to $79.99 and include home decor, such as “candles, pillows, and glassware.” Keeping in line with Target’s hit-or-miss history with designer collaborations, we’re tentatively penning this as a miss, but we won’t know for sure until images of the collection are released. The line is due to be available in stores and online May 1st, just enough time to plan a St. Barthes getaway to show off your new billowy beachwear.

William Rast Co-Founder Trace Ayala on Bringing Biker Bohemia to Target

The William Rast for Target collection is set to hit stores on December 19, and if the turnout is anything like last weekend’s private shopping event, items will go fast. All styles of the leather jackets were snatched up within a few hours and the WR signature denim was also a big crowd-pleaser. In anticipation of the launch, co-founder Trace Ayala gives BlackBook the scoop on his and Justin Timberlake’s big move into “rebelliously priced” retail.

What drew you and Justin to a high-low designer collaboration with Target? We loved the idea of sharing the brand with a new group of William Rast fans who may not typically shop in the channels where we currently distribute.

Since William Rast is known for producing high-quality denim, how did you decide which styles would fit into a lower price point? We decided to base this denim collection on our most popular fits and styles, but make them truly unique to the program by developing special washes, treatments, and details. It was a very interesting project to work with these price points and to develop styles that still have our premium look and fit.

One feature that sets this collection apart from any other Target/designer collaboration is the incorporation of menswear. How important was it for you to include a men’s collection? Yes, we are a lifestyle brand with both women’s and men’s. It was always the plan to include men’s. We were excited about the opportunity to inspire men to buy accessible and cool fashion at Target, and hope to be the first of more men’s designer collaborations at Target.

From leather jackets and shorts, to oversized tanks and chambray button-downs, the women’s collection captures all the key trends happening right now, with a touch of WR flair. Is there a girl in particular that inspired the collection? Our girl has always been this cool tomboy who is still very in touch with her feminine side. We drew inspiration not so much from particular individuals but from the William Rast DNA of biker culture, rat pack, and American denim heritage, all wrapped up in influences from pop culture: music, film, art, and fashion.

What are your personal favorite William Rast for Target men’s and women’s pieces? For women, my favorite is our raw skinny denim—super clean and wearable with our super-soft black leather fringe jacket. For men, the straight leg blue jean with just the right amount of wear and dirt is a great piece with our washed utilitarian shirts.

And finally: children’s wear is a major market right now, as designers like Stella McCartney and All Saints are rolling out youth collections that even adults are envious of. Any chance we’ll be seeing a William Rast kids’ line in the future? We want to expand our line to all lifestyle categories. Children’s wear is definitely on our radar.

Photo via Picture Group.

William Rast for Target Brings Country to the Streets

Yesterday, images of the full William Rast for Target collection surfaced, and the majority agree that it’s an easy collaboration to swallow. Each piece offers the country vibe that designers Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala have promoted since the brand’s inception, without being too literal. In fact, there really are no risks in this collection, making it even more accessible to fast-fashion consumers looking for brand-name items without compromising their own tastes. For women, the line offers street basics that we already own or are on the hunt for, like leather shorts and jackets, chambray shirts, and silk blouses. Men have some straightforward choices too, like jeans, nylon jackets, and relaxed button-downs.

The collection launches in stores December 19 and while I don’t predict pandemonium from die-hard William Rast fans, I do see some pieces (like this brown leather jacket) selling out fast.

Two New Denim Collabs Courtesy of Levi’s & JT

Two new denim lines will be soon be premiering at Brooks Brothers and Target thanks to collaborations with Levi’s and Justin Timberlake’s William Rast label. Levi’s is bringing classic jean styles to both Brooks Brothers standalone-stores as well as its e-commerce site. “Co-branded as Levi Strauss for Brooks Brothers, the $148 designs come in three fits and six washes for men, with all product made in the U.S.,” says Women’s Wear Daily. Each of the styles fit into a classic aesthetic category (read: don’t expect any heavy washing or distressing here). The denim line sells for about $50 more than Brooks Brothers other in house jeans collection, but (at least in terms of sales angles), it has the advantage of being U.S.-made.

Meanwhile, William Rast is following suit and bringing embellished Americana styles for both women and men to Target come Dec. 19. “The collection for Target was inspired by the essence of the William Rast brand—the iconography of biker culture and American denim heritage,” Colin Dyne, William Rast’s chief executive officer, told WWD. Unlike Brooks Brothers x Levi’s, this collaboration is likely to house a far more ornamented take on classic American staples.

Justin Timberlake Shows Love to Malls, Victoria’s Secret Goes Abroad

The stigma surrounding shopping malls is dissipating. Shopping chain stores and slurping down a Jamba Juice in the process is garnering newfound acceptance as a sartorial pastime. And apparently it’s a movement of which Justin Timberlake is a fan. Back in September, the pop star-turned-fashion designer announced for that William Rast, the clothing line he founded alongside Trace Ayala, would soon be setting up its first freestanding shop (which is now newly opened at the Westfield Century City mall in Los Angeles). Apparently the next 40-50 William Rast stores opening between now and 2010 will be in malls as well.

“Foot traffic is important to us. Generally in this environment, the mall is thriving better than the street locations,” says Colin Dyne, chief executive officer of People’s Liberation, the Los Angeles-based company that operates its namesake brand, William Rast and the U.S. business of J. Lindeberg. In other William Rast news, Timberlake will reappear in the brand’s next ad campaign: Dyne says, “we use Justin in the right ways. He was in our first ad campaign and he’ll be in our next ad campaign.”

As for Victoria’s Secret (whose much-anticipated annual angel runway show is fast approaching), major expansions across the pond are in the works. Retail Week says, Limited Brands “plans to open Victoria’s Secret stores in strategic markets including the UK as part of an international expansion drive.”

William Rast Sets Up Shop

The struggling retail market isn’t keeping Justin Timberlake from opening his first standalone store for the clothing line William Rast, which he co-founded with Trace Ayala. According to Women’s Wear Daily, the label “is expected to turn a profit this year and has plans to open some 40 boutiques over the next several years, with three leases already signed.” The first will be Westfield Century City (an outdoor mall packing everything from Zara and Houston’s to Bloomingdales) in Timberlake’s hometown of Los Angeles. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the line, Timberlake deserves some respect for being one of the few celebrity fashion designers to keep their line afloat amid the recession (ahem, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lauren Conrad, et al).

But according to a recent interview Timberlake and Ayala did with the Wall Street Journal on Fashion’s Night Out in NYC, they’re far from getting ahead of themselves. “Our goal is a small level of success, and we are happy to have it. We feel we’ve made the right steps to ensure we can stick around for a long time. We are not looking to cash in,” Timberlake says. And while William Rast sat out SS10 presentations in New York this fall, don’t count them out for next New York Fashion Week. “In the turmoil of the industry, doing a fashion show is like throwing something at the wind. In this environment I don’t think it makes sense,” says Colin Dyne, William Rast’s Chief Executive. “For fall 2010 we will be there.”