Ralph Lauren & Opening Ceremony Anchor A Huge Sample Sale Week
w/ Isaia, Thom Browne, Alice + Olivia
& More

Those blazers you see above come from the ISAIA sample sale which officially starts today (pronounce it 'eez-ah-ee-yah' if you want to sound like you know what you are talking about). It's one that fans of immaculately hand-tailored Italian men's clothing wait for, and for good reason. It's full of luxurious fabrics whipped up into classic, Neopolitan suits and sportcoats along with handmade dress and sport shirts in silky cottons, luxurious sweaters and sumptuous outerwear. If you look at the price list after the jump, you will see that even at a deep discount of around 70%off, everything is still pretty pricey, but if you are willing to make an investment in impeccable, elegant quality, it's not a sale to miss. If it's too rich for your blood, then don't worry, there are a ton of other sales to hit this week. A burgeoning women's contemporary powerhouse and a cult menswear favorite turned FLOTUS fave round out the week with America's biggest designer, Ralph Lauren, and New York's favorite fashion store, Opening Ceremony, anchoring the weekend. See some highlights below, and schedule accordingly.

The NANCY GONZALEZ sale is happening now through Wednesday the 11th featuring the designer's handbags and accessories in brilliantly colored crocodile and other exotic skins. It's not the place to look for a simple leather bag, and, again, the prices here reflect the luxurious materials, but a portion of the proceeds will go to the New York Cancer Center.

Celebrated jewelry designer STEPHEN DWECK will be offering deep discounts on his eclectic jewelry for two days starting today. With bold, 80's inspired jewels on the comeback trail, you can't do better than one of it's prime practitioners. Through Wednesday the 11th.

As a perennial denim favorite, DIESEL always draws a crowd to its Chelsea showroom for sample sales. The one starting today should be no different, though there will be an unusual, separate, early bird session starting at 7 AM. Through Thursday the 12th.

ALICE & OLIVIA is another crowd pleaser, so prepare for lines today at 260 Fifth Avenue regardless of any inclement weather predictions. Through Sunday the 15th.

Wednesday brings THEORY's final sample sale of the season (we think). This one's for for menswear. Find it at Chelsea Market through Sunday the 15th

The First Lady's new favorite THOM BROWNE is moving his seasonal sale from his West Chelsea showroom all the way across town to the Bowery starting on Thursday. Presumably, this will be to accommodate his expanded womenswear line, but you should still expect to see a lot of his trimly tailored menswear. Traditionally, the discounts are substantial, so, again, expect a line of natty gentlemen in flood pants. Through Friday the 13th.

Thursday also brings a sale from the young designers at the CFDA's FASHION INCUBATOR in the Garment District including Project Runway alum DANIEL VOSOVIC, high tech wonder ISAORA and the globe-trotting BURKMAN BROS to name a few. Through Saturday the 14th.

Finally, Friday brings the week's biggest events starting with RALPH LAUREN at Soiffer Haskin in Midtown with his more exclusive Collection, Purple Label and Black Label brands. offerings generally range from apparel and shoes to accessories. There probably won't be any surprises, but there is usually a ton of stuff,  and that's how his fans like it. Through Monday the 16th.

OPENING CEREMONY is reliably guaranteed to draw hordes of eager shoppers and will be setting up shop on Mercer street now that last season's location has been permanently annexed to the main store. Expect plenty of the popular private label collections along with clearance merchandise by other designers from previous seasons which can often include some bargain gems if you are lucky. Through Sunday the 15th.

Be sure to check the SALE ROLL at left for details as well as many more sales and late breaking events that we will add as soon as we hear of them.

Continue reading "SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

Ralph Lauren & Opening Ceremony Anchor A Huge Sample Sale Week
w/ Isaia, Thom Browne, Alice + Olivia
& More
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Opening Ceremony Launched COS Last Friday, But The Real News
Was A Brand New Men's Floor

In all the excitement over Opening Ceremony's exclusive U.S. preview of H&M's upscale brand COS, nobody seemed to notice that the ever-evolving retailer had added an entire new men's floor to the mazelike complex that serves as its flagship store on Howard Street. In an unusual, and particularly OC-ish move, the new floor is actually the street level of the building that houses the men's departments, most recently used for the store's sample and clearance sale, now remodeled and permanently open with its own entrance and a new passage through to the original store. Inside, the space is OCMensInsideset up with long racks on each side and a series of arched, cagelike fixtures (at left) in the center which are currently showcasing some of the store's brightest and loudest designers for men like Bernhard Wilhelm, Walter Van Beirendonck alongside mainstays like Raf Simons and Dries Van Noten, and the store's ever expanding private label collection. Of course, this being Opening Ceremony, it's still a workout to get around the whole store. The second and third levels are still only accessible by a bunch of stairs, but the configuration leaves the store in a configuration somewhat reminiscent of the old Barneys on 17th Street with separate, self contained men's and women's stores side by side.

An as for COS, seen in person, it lived up nicely to its advance hype. Presented in a single, four sided gazebo-like structure (pictured below), the capsule selections for men and women had a sleek, minimalist yet accessible vibe that reminded us how much we missed Uniqlo's +J collections from Jil Sander. The prices seemed quite reasonable for the quality we saw, falling in roughly the same range as J.Crew, and while we were there on Friday afternoon, shoppers were snapping it up. There still seems to be a reasonable selection online, but we don't expect it to last terribly long, so act fast if you are intrigued, or wait until next Spring, when the line arrives in its own store in SoHo.

Opening Ceremony Men's Store 33 Howard Street
COS at Opening Ceremony 35 Howard Street between Crosby Street & Broadway, SoHo
Launchpad: Opening Ceremony To Launch H&M's COS In-Store & Online Next Week



Opening Ceremony To Launch H&M's COS In-Store & Online Next Week

Once again showing how it is one of New York's most dynamic retailers, Opening Ceremony will be the first store in America to offer H&M's more upscale COS brand. Though the European chain is slated to debut its own flagship on Spring Street next Spring, next Friday October 11, a COS pop-up shop will introduce the label to New Yorkers in Opening Ceremony's Howard Street Store and its merchandise will also become available on the store's website.

"We see COS as a completely separate brand from H&M," cofounders of Opening Ceremony, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, tell WWD, "COS is a fashion-industry favorite for those who often travel to London and Paris and haven’t been able to get the collection in the U.S. until now. We’re excited to share our love of this brand with our New York customers for the first time.” They compare it to the way their store sold several collections from Topshop including designer collaboration lines, for a few years before that chain finally entered the U.S. market officially with its own flagship store in New York. Coincidentally (or maybe not) the COS Pop-up will open barely a week before Opening Ceremony debuts H&M award winning designer Minju Kim's collection in association with the Swedish fast fashion giant. Should we look for more collaborations between these two fast paced though very different companies? Nobody's saying anything, but Opening Ceremony's SoHo store will definitely be the place to keep an eye on this month.

COS to Open N.Y. Pop-up Shop at Opening Ceremony (WWD)
Opening Ceremony To Sell H&M's Design Awards Winner + COS Coming To SoHo + All Of Isabel Marant's Men's Looks


Opening Ceremony To Sell H&M's Design Awards Winner
COS Coming To SoHo
All Of Isabel Marant's Men's Looks

8013_PR_08_lowThere's a truckload of news coming out of H&M today.
First on deck is the unusual occasion of H&M selling its wares in another store, and the impressive surprise of that store being New York's epicenter of directional design, Opening Ceremony. The Swedish chain's 2013 Design Award winner, Minju Kim will debut her collection (pictured at right) at select H&M stores on October 17th as well as at Opening Ceremony's New York, Los Angeles and London stores. It's the first time that H&M has partnered with another retailer, and Opening Ceremony's participation suggests that this new designer will be someone to watch. Born in Korea and schooled at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, Minju's manga-inspired collection was selected by a jury of fashion experts, and in about three weeks, you'll get a chance to see it for yourself.

The next bit of news concerns H&M's more sophisticated and expensive brand COS —which stands for Collection Of Style. Heretofore unavailable in the United States the brand will make its stateside debut sometime next year at an as yet undisclosed location somewhere 129 Spring Street between Greene and Wooster Streets in SoHo. No word yet on how big or extensive the store will be, but it's website —which does not ship to the U.S.— shows collections for Women, Men and Children. Hopefully, more details will emerge soon.

And lastly, this week has seen excitement for the upcoming Isabel Marant pour H&M collaboration collection increase exponentially as images of the offerings mede their way onto the internet via a variety of blogs and websites. Today, GQ was the first to present a detailed imagery from the men's section of the capsule collection including prices. They are Marant's first men's designs, and probably the only ones you will see from her in a while. The good news is, they translate the designer's eclectic boho vibe quite well for men including great outerwear pieces, jeans that are embellished just enough, and some easy tees and sweatshirts. The bad news is they won't be cheap. The jeans are $99, the terrific brass buttoned peacoat is $299, and the suede ankle boots are $199. The prices are in line with last year's ill-fated Maison Martin Margiela project. While we hope Marant's collection does better with shoppers than that one did (and it looks like it probably will) H&M wasted no time in marking down excess Margiela merch within a few weeks of the launch. In the event that guys are not quite ready for Marant's chunky sweaters and skinny, decorated jeans, more adventurous shoppers with paitence may find some bargains.
Have a look at more of Minju Kim's collection and some of Isabel Marant's key men's items in the gallery below. 

Bombshell: H&M's COS Is Coming to NYC! Specifically, Soho! (Racked)
Every Isabel Marant x H&M Menswear Piece (With Prices) (The GQ Eye)

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A Look At Opening Ceremony BTW*
At The SuperPier

Last week, between runway shows, we stopped bythe  Opening Ceremony BTW*(*By The Water) Fashion Week pop-up over at Pier 57. It's really less of a pop-up store and more of a series of micro-boutiques stuffed inside shipping containers, but it should prove to be a pleasant diversion for anyone who has to kill a few minutes between shows at Milk Studios.

Though Youngwoo & Associates, the company tasked with revitalizing the massive Pier 57 has extensive plans to use repurposed shipping containers in it's reinvention scheme, the OCBTW installation shows that they may have some serious limitations for use as retail spaces. Specifically, they are tiny. There is just enough room inside each one to squeeze in Rihanna's River Island collection, the store's exclusive DKNY retro line, and a selection of OC's own collection in two side by side containers. The rest are devoted to a nail-art salon by Naomi Yasuda and Estée Lauder, a special "curated" newsstand and food from Asiadog, Spur Tree, Scharf & Zoyer and Dominique Ansel (though none of his infamous cronuts were visible when we were there).

How much this pop-up will resemble the permanent store that Opening Ceremony has agreed to open on the pier in a couple of years remains to be seen, but for now, it's an entertaining reminder to shoppers of both the dramatic fashion show the brand staged on the pier last night as well as a little taste of what's to come.

River Retailing: Opening Ceremony To Move Into SuperPier 57 As A Permanent AnchorOC-BTW1


Opening Ceremony To Move Into SuperPier 57 As A Permanent Anchor

Opening Ceremony likes the Hudson River piers so much that it has decided to take up residence there. Just as one of New York's most innovative fashion/retail entities is about to open a major Fashion Week pop-up store on Pier 57, it has been announced that the store will take on a permanent role as a retail anchor in the pier's redevelopment plan. Youngwoo & Associates is spearheading the reinvention of what has become known as the SuperPier, and announced the new store along with a Riverfront Spa and Beach Club hospitality concept from André Balazs Properties and Brooklyn Boulders, a rock climbing-style venue. The iminent pop-up event, called Opening Ceremony BTW (By the Water), which will close on September 12, and the permanent store, which will not open until 2015, are not specifically related to each other, but both will utilize the repurposed shipping containers known as Incuboxes, which are an integral element in the multi-use redevelopment plan for the pier. “We want to incubate brands,” Zachary Beloff, Youngwoo's director of marketing tells WWD, “You see that all the time with Opening Ceremony. They’re always looking at who’s next, what country’s next. Last year, they focused on Korea, this year on Belgium. They’re always ahead of the curve.” The development company hopes that the retailer will ultimately be joined by other similarly adventurous brands both large and small to fill the pier's 270,000 square feet of leaseable space. “We hope to get everyone from Adidas to DKNY to take their own space,” he says, “While we wouldn’t want a retailer to duplicate what they do on Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue, it’s good to have established brands trying new things.” While we will have to wait a while to see exactly what Opening Ceremony comes up with for its third Manhattan store, The SuperPier redevelopment just got a lot more interesting.

Opening Ceremony to Anchor New York's SuperPier (WWD)
Fashion Week Events: Opening Ceremony Plans A Pier Pop-Up


Opening Ceremony Plans A Pier Pop-Up

Pier57It may be hard to imagine, but this Fall's Fashion Week will mark the first time that Opening Ceremony presents its popular wholesale collection on an actual runway (not including the occasional Chloë Sevigny collaboration). To celebrate, designers/shopkeepers/owners Humberto Leon and Carol Lim will be commandeering their Pier 57 show space for a whole week and staging a pop-up market event to be called Opening Ceremony BTW (for 'By The Water"). Open from 11 AM to 7 PM on  September 5th through the 7th, the retailer will bring a collection of separate shops housed in shipping containers including Rihanna for River Island and DKNY Exclusively for Opening Ceremony as well as food vendors like Asia Dog, Café Habana, Spur Tree and the Dominique Ansel Bakery. Estée Lauder will host a Pop-up salon featuring nail art and there will also be " Coca-Cola Designer Drinkware products" —so there will be sponsorship. Last, but by no means least, there will be a special selection of Tenga "male pleasure" products with customized packaging based on Opening Ceremony's Spring collection, which should make for some really interesting gift bags.

Lim tells WWD, “It’s our version of giving guests the experience not only the day of the show. They can see curated fashion products and food. We thought, ‘Why not extend it for the entire fashion week?’” The designers worked in cooperation with Young Woo & Associates which is in the process of redeveloping the 60 year-old "SuperPier" (pictured in a rendering above) and will also offer other shops and vendors during Fashion Week. What's the best part? Unlike most Fashion Week events, the markets will be open to the public —no invitations necessary.

Opening Ceremony Sets Plans for First New York Fashion Week (WWD)
Pier 57 (Official Site)


Opening Ceremony Sets A Rihanna "RIHtrospective" Next Week
To Launch Her Exclusive Collection

Tons of people love her. A few people hate her, and plenty of people are just damned bewildered with her creepy love life, but there's no question that superstar singer (and actress if you count Battleship) Rihanna can capture attention. She upstaged London Fashion Week with a preview of the fashion collection she has collaborated on with UK chain River Island, which, for all the publicity it has generated, will not be sold anywhere in the U.S. —except for one store.

Opening Ceremony will not only launch the collection on Tuesday (preview the full collection HERE) , but has borrowed seven of the singer's most well-known performance and red-carpet outfits to display in its Howard Street flagship for three weeks as a fashion "RIHtrospective" of her career. Apparently, the number seven has some significance for Rihanna who has seven grammys, releases seven albums in seven years, appeared on the cover of Complex seven times and staged an infamous 777 tour last year with a corps of increasingly disgruntled reporters in tow to launch her most recent album, Unapologetic. Let's hope this venture goes better than that misbegotten plane tour. The retailer worked with Rihanna's stylist and the singer herself to choose the looks for the exhibition. The River Island collection, the reason behind all this fuss, will be sold in all of Opening Ceremony's stores and online, and ranges in price from $45 and $350. For its part, Opening Ceremony has a good track record with bringing other retailers' otherwise unavailable exclusive lines to the U.S. including selling many of Topshop's designer collaborations long before that chain had any U.S. locations. We have never heard of River Island before all the hype around Rihanna's collection, but if all goes well, we might see more of this chain on our shores.

Opening Ceremony to Stock Rihanna's River Island Collection (WWD)
RIHANNA for River Island (Official Site)


Opening Ceremony Takes DKNY
Back To the '90s

Have you been longing for the styles of the early 1990s? No, we haven't either, but the folks at Opening Ceremony are not to have their judgement questioned. Their exclusive collaborations can range from intriguing to charmingly bewildering (Yes, Yoko Ono, we mean you), and they are collaborating with DKNY to reissue 15 pieces from the early days of Donna Karan's diffusion line, 1991 to 1993. Though the brand has evolved into a major, wide ranging contemporary apparel resource, the capsule collection reminds us of the days when it mostly offered easy, clean lined casualwear. Most of the items feature variations on the label's original bold logo including the iconic versions featuring the New York skyline or designs based on subway tokens (remember them?).

The collection will be available at all Opening Ceremony boutiques as well as online starting tomorrow, February 1st. If you are feeling wistful about the last years of the pre-digital age, when you had to call people on telephones that connected to a wall, and mail was always something that needed a stamp, get ready, but be warned, the collection ranges in price from $145 to $665, so it's '90s styles at very 2013 prices.

See some of the re-issued looks in the gallery below.

Opening Ceremony (Official Site)

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Opening Ceremony Team
To Take On Kenzo

KenzoOpening Ceremony LVMH has announced som surprising changes at Kenzo, the designer label it has owned since 1993. Italian designer Antonio Marras is out as creative director and widely admired American retailers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (pictured at right) of Opening Ceremony are in. The team will be tasked with taking Kenzo back to its youthful, contemporary roots. According to WWD, one of the team's goals will be to return the label to the U.S. market which it exited in 2003, only a few years after its namesake, designer Kenzo Takada, left in 1999.

While it seems unusual to see a famous Paris-based fashion label's creative direction taken over by American retailers, Lim and Leon have been successfully wholesaling an original Opening Ceremony labeled collection in about 300 independent stores which now includes separate collaboration lines with Rodarte and the actress Chloë Sevigny. Considering that, it's not such a surprising choice.

Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH’s fashion division tells WWD, “It’s great to bring this young, contemporary generation into Kenzo. They’re really embracing what was the origin of Kenzo — that Jungle spirit,” referencing the designer's 1970s Paris boutique, Jungle Jap.

Under Marras, the label had reflected Takada's aesthetic, but its offerings had become more expensive and elaborate, and lost ground in markets like the U.S. and Europe where it had once thrived. Lim and Leon are expected to brighten the line and return it to a younger market to compete with labels with similar heritage like Cacharel and the successfully repositioned Carven. Their first collection for the label will be shown in October for Spring 2011 in Paris, and at the very least, Kenzo's owners can count on it being sold in Opening Ceremony's popular and influential boutiques in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

New Creative Lead at Kenzo (WWD)