What does Alexandra Jacobs have against Yigal Azrouël? In a strangely perverse outing as Critical Shopper in this week's Thursday Styles, she belittles the designer for lacking the megalomaniacal urge to conspicuously affix his logo on every possible product and for publicly firing the abrasive, self promoting PR executive Kelly Cutrone. She accuses him of poor brand management just as she is about to review his newly relocated flagship boutique, and even goes so far as to wonder who, if anyone actually wears his clothes.
There must be people out there buying armfuls of his droopy, drape-y, doggedly nonconformist clothes — else how could he have afforded his flagship’s recent move from the meatpacking district to one of the most prime corners of Madison Avenue? — but I’ve never encountered one.
Why bother paying attention to the store at all if it turns out that none of the right sorts of people (Hollywood red carpet walkers, preppy Upper East Side ingenues) seem to have him on their radar? Never mind that firing Kelly Cutrone puts Azrouël in excellent company, and, despite our shopper's skepticism, he has been in business since 1998, which makes him something of a veteran designer these days, and perfectly fit to have a boutique on Madison Avenue. Ultimately, Jacobs seems to find something she likes, but she leaves us with the sense that she was really just looking to find fault.
Critical Shopper: Carrying on With a Phantom Customer By Alexandra Jacobs (NYTimes)
Yigal Azrouël 1011 Madison Avenue at 78th Street, Upper East Side