APPLE WATCH Meets HERMÈS For Its First Collaboration — Updated With Details

's new product announcement event is still going on as we type this, but the biggest fashion news for the tech giant was pushed to the front of the agenda as its first Apple Watch collaboration was announced with none other than the most luxe of the luxe, Hermès.
Is that exclusive enough for you?
This was a development that was conspicuously not bandied about by the tech blogs which have been breathlessly reporting on rumored product developments for the past few weeks (giant iPad Pro with high tech pencil stylus confirmed), so it was a genuine surprise.
The Apple Watch Hermès will be available in October at select retailers. it comes with a classic single strap, signature double tour (see image above) or wider cuff strap, all with a customized Hermès watch face. Perhaps this is the push that was needed to get the Apple Watch into real luxury players like Barneys and Neiman Marcus. So far we have no price info yet for the watches, but stay tuned. We will update as soon as more information is released.

Now that Apple has updated the Apple Watch page, we can offer some more specific details about the new collaboration.
For starters, these are emphatically not separate bands for individual purchase as has been reported by some outlets, but only sold with Apple Watches in polished stainless steel and a custom Hermès face that will only be available on these models. Here are the prices for the three styles:

Double Tour in 38mm with four band colors: Fauve, Etain, Capucine, and Bleu Jean
- $1,250
Single Tour in 38 or 42mm with Fauve or Noir bands. Capucine band only in 38mm
- $1,100 and up
Cuff in 42mm with a Fauve band
- $1,500

The Cuff style has a cut-out in the back of the watch to allow the heart rate sensor to be in contact with the wrist. So far, we do not know if versions of the band can also be purchased with the gold Apple Watch Edition, but it is not listed as an option on the site.
As for stores that will be carrying the watch next month, there are only 17 North American retail outlets listed including Apple Stores in Eaton Center and Yorkdale in Toronto, Aventura and Miami Beach in Florida, The Grove in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Santa Monica. Hermès boutiques to be selling the watch include Beverly Hills, Miami and San Francisco. The only third party retailer listed so far is Maxfield in Los Angeles. In New York, the watches will be available only at Hermès on Madison Avenue and the Apple Stores on Fifth Avenue, Prince Street in SoHo and Broadway on the Upper West Side.

After the jump, click to enlarge some official images of the three styles


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Hermès Is Politely Feuding With The Birkin Bag's Namesake

Hermes-birkinWhat do you do when the person whom you have named your most famous product after slams you in the press?
This week, actress Jane Birkin caused a fashion scandal by publicly asking Hermès to remove her name from the crocodile version of its signature Birkin bag after having seen a video produced by People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals that detailed brutal slaughtering and skinning methods of alligators and crocodiles. It appears that Birkin would like for her name to remain on the other versions of the famous handbag, but be removed from the luxury crocodile version (pictured at left) which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
In a response statement issued today, Hermès International states, “Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.”
While it declined to rename any of its products, the French luxury label stated that the farm depicted in the video is not one of its suppliers and is also under investigation for violating approved slaughter methods for alligators and crocodiles, whose use has been highly regulated since being removed from the endangered species list decades ago. The company indicated that not only does it meticulously follow established rules and regulations in acquiring animal skins for its products, it also visits its suppliers on a monthly basis to ensure that standards are being upheld.
Ultimately, this is a case of PETA attacking a famous animal product using brand and taking advantage of a celebrity connection for extra publicity. The advocacy group is famous for showing grisly videos of animal abuse and slaughter to gather support for its cause, but it may now be better understood that one cruel and abusive factory does not accurately represent an entire industry. Hermès like many other famous companies focused on leathergoods (Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton etc.) has probably become used to attacks from PETA and other similar groups and appears unfazed. Where Jane Birkin will ultimately fall on the dispute remains to be seen, but while PETA has gotten a few days of publicity out of the deal, it seems unlikely that anything will change at Hermès.

Hermès Responds to Jane Birkin Appeal (WWD)


A Cavalcade Of Sales Starring HERMÈS
The Row, David Yurman, Vivienne Westwood, Duckie Brown & More

We are in one of those big sample sale weeks that will have eager bargain hunters getting up early and lining up on sidewalks all over Manhattan, so brace yourselvs and plan carefully.Every single prominent sample sale facility has a major sela this week. The big star this week is the HERMÈS sale which starts this Thursday the 23rd at Soiffer Haskin on Weest 33rd Street. This one is always a draw for obvious reasons, and is the pinnacle of sale shopping for the faithful followers of the exclusive French luxury brand. Past seasons have been a mixed bag for shoppers hoping to stock up on scarves or ties. Sometimes the selection is abundant, sometimes it is nonexistent. It's always kind of a crapshoot in that respect. Veterans know better than to expect to find a Kelly or Birkin bag, but one will find seasonal apparel and shoes for women and men as well as selected accessory items which may or may not include silks. Usually the discount is around 50% off, which, considering Hermès' regular price points, can still mean prices that are generally staggering. Prepare to check everything but the clothes on your back at the door.

But that's not all that's happening this week. There are two popular jewelry brands holding sales this week with JOHN HARDY setting up shop on Tuesday the 21st only at the Westin Times Square Hotel, and DAVID YURMAN returning to The Altman Building in Chelsea for four days starting on Thursday the 23rd with his seasonal blowout.

Looking for Vintage? WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND will be at 225 Fifth Avenue starting on Tuesday through the weekend offering deep discounts from its warehouse collection of vintage designer clothes and accessories. They are promising nearly every covetable designer label including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, Céline, Balenciaga, Fendi and more. The dealer's non-vintage private label line will be on sale as well along with leather and fur outerwear.

Perhaps you are looking for something more casual. CLUB MONACO opened yesterday and will be at Clothingline's Garment District facility through Friday featuring an abundance of samples and stock on sale including apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women. Starting today, JAMES PERSE will hold his seasonal sale at 260 Fifth Avenue featuring rack after rack of his popular T-shirts and relaxed sportswear for men and women including the Yosemite collection.

Is more refined fashion fare more your thing? Wednesday the 22nd brings pioneering British designer VIVIENNE WESTWOOD back to the Garment District with savings on her men's and women's collections including apparel, accessories, handbags and shoes. We do not expect to see any of Pharrell's oversized "Buffalo Gals" hats there, but you never know. For more understated but extra luxurious fare, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen will be holding another sample sale for THE ROW at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Up to 85% off retail prices is the promised discount on clothes and accessories starting on Thursday the 23rd.

Looking for menswear? Denim and Sportswear label GILDED AGE will be on sale in SoHo starting on Thursday, and for the more adventurous guy DUCKIE BROWN will be holding a rare VIP Sample Sale on Saturday and Sunday in its Meatpacking District showroom which promises items from the Fall 2014 and previous season's collections as well as one-of-a-kind archive pieces and a $20 bin.

And there's plenty more including Italian luxury bed and bath from SFERRA at Chelsea Market, luxury baby and kids clothes from BONPOINT, contemporary sportswear from RAMY BROOKHUNTER BELL and MARISSA WEBB plus more. Be sure to check out SALE ROLL sidebar at left for details and late breaking sales.


How Beverly Hills Ruined
New York's Hermès Sale

RACKED-HermesBHSaleThe scandal of the week is that the offerings at the big Hermès Sale have fallen far short of reasonable expectations, even as eager shoppers and fans lined up for hours in the early morning to get first crack at the otherwise rarely reduced handbags, scarves, ties and other items that failed to materialize. Hermès business has been booming for the past couple of years, which usually means a greater production level and ultimately, more abundance when it comes to clearance and sample sales, but not this season for some reason.
The Madison Avenue Spy seems to have gotten to the bottom of this mystery, and offers a warning for future events. It seems that in advance of unveiling its newly renovated Beverly Hills flagship, the folks at Hermès decided to collect all the overstock and past season goods from their North American stores and hold a huge blowout sale in Los Angeles last month that included all the stuff that shoppers were expecting to find at the sale that opened here this week.
Of all the nerve!
According to reports from Racked L.A., it was total pandemonium as shoppers devoured all of the bags, scarves, ties, enameled jewelry and fragrance available. None were left when it was time for the sale here, what there was had already been pretty picked over, and thus the offerings this week have been disappointing at best. It was bad enough when we had to start sharing the old Barneys Warehouse Sale with L.A., but now this?

Will next season bring a return to the kind of Hermès sale that shoppers have come to expect? Hard to say, but the M.A.Spy tells us that the store in Houston, another major location for the brand, is getting ready for a big relocation. If Hermès has decided to use its big sale as a traveling show to help promote new stores and renovations, then the big clearance events that New Yorkers now feel entitled to (and obviously deserve!) may be a thing of the past.

Why the Hermès Sale Was a Bust (Madison Avenue Spy)
The Hermès Beverly Hills Sale is a Glorious Madhouse (Racked L.A.)

Hermès Picks Madison Avenue
For Its First Men's Store

Hermesnecktie_2 Hermès has announced that they will be opening their first store for men this fall right across the street from their Madison Avenue flagship on the corner of 62nd Street. The 6,000 square foot store will include an entire floor devoted custom and and made-to-measure services. According to DNR, 45% of Hermès' business comes form men's merchandise (the vast majority of which we are betting comes from neckties). The last time we checked, that spot was occupied by Luca Luca, but we will have to check again to see what is being displaced to make room for the luxury giant.
Hermes to Open Men’s Store (DNR)

Sample Sale Report: Hermès At 60% Off Is Still Insanely Expensive!


The sample sales are coming fast and furious as the summer closes. This week brought the heavy hitters like Prada, Intermix's combat shopping excercise and, of course, the continuing Barneys Warehouse Sale. We hear that the Jimmy Choo sale was a nightmare of waiting and line cutting, and we simply didn't have the patience to wait on the sidewalk for Mulberry's sale. We did manage to catch the Hermès sale yesterday with mixed results. First, the pluses. The pristine white loft in the Metropolitan Pavilion serves as pleasant backdrop for Hermès' relatively neat racks and shelves. We had to wait only for the elevator and a fast bag-check line. There was still plenty of stuff around midway through day #2. The sale was actually staffed with salespeople to assist you, and individual tents in signature orange served as changing rooms at the back of the sale, thus avoiding the undignified sample sale strip.
Now the minuses. Here's the obvious one: Hermès is so expensive that even at a huge discount, the stuff is still astonishingly costly. A $6,500 coat would still be a whopping $2,000 at least. As usual for these types of things, the age of some of the goods appeared questionable.
It must be noted that if you are expecting to score a Birkin or Kelly bag, don't waste your time. The bag selection consisted almost entirely of variations on the L.L.Bean canvas tote.

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Hermès Kicks Off the Downtown Luxury District

Hermeswallstreetdrawing_2Hermès finally flung open the doors of its much-talked-about downtown branch today after a star studded launch party last night. The French luxury legend is a pioneer of sorts in the neighborhood which is soon to be home to a Tiffany while every company from Nordstrom to Jil Sander is said to be casing the area for their own outposts.
Island of luxe though it may be, it is here, insisting on calling the 4,000 square foot store Hermès Wall Street despite the fact that the actual store does not actually front Wall Street at any point. It is in fact on Broad Street, directly across the way from the New York Stock Exchange, the most iconic of locations. The question is will they make it there, or will the store die a slow death, bereft of enough like-minded neighbors?
We think they'll live, and to ensure their survival, the company has predictably merchandised this branch with an eye clearly focused on the district's mostly male and mostly rich weekday professional population. If Madison Avenue is the place to go for an Hermès scarf or to get on the Birkin bag list, then this is the store to visit for a tie. Or perhaps a zillion ties.

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And The New Hot Shopping Area Is...Wall Street?

2006_06_37wallSoon there will be another reason to go shopping way way downtown besides Century 21. Curbed  and WWD tell us that Tiffany & Co. will be opening its second New York Store in a 1906 Beaux-Arts tower at 37 Wall Street in April 2007. Heaven knows there's heaps and heaps of dough down there, but so far the notable retail scene has consisted mainly of the aforementioned discounter and business wear stores like Brooks Brothers and Hickey-Freeman. Expect a dramatic presentation as Tiffany will restore as much gilded age grandeur as possible, in efforts to outshine its new neighbor, Hermès which will open at 15 Broad Street next year.

Krisvanassche It looks more and more like Hedi Slimane is on his way out at Dior Homme. Belgian designer Kris Van Assche has been tapped to wait in the wings should Slimane bid adieu. An obvious choice, the Belgian Van Assche whose own collection will be four seasons old next month, was assistant to Slimane at both Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, so don't look for a huge change in direction should the scenario actually come to pass. (WWD & Vogue UK)

Mulberry Bleecker Street hasn't been eclipsed just yet. Mulberry, the British luxury leathergoods house is finally establishing a foothold in the US with its first stateside store at 387 Bleecker opening in August. It will be the only store oustide the UK to offer the Bespoke accessories collection, which allows the customer to chose what color and type of leather they want. Perfect for us because we like things the way we like them!

The Window Watcher: Subway Twister Edition

Img_0885We promised we would return with a window report, and this time the winner is Bergdorf Goodman once again. Sorry to be redundant, but there really is no competition, at least not this week. Everyone else's displays just looked like merch, merch merch. Somehow Bergdorf's made a set of co-op windows with www.nyc.gov work brilliantly. This one we refer to as Subway Twister, a tribute to the Department of Transportation that has a perception switch we love. The gorgeous Missoni clothes are just a complement to the composition. After the jump, see Departments of Sanitation, Parks and Recreation and the New York Public Library windows as well as some other runners-up.

Click photo for a larger view

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