Black Friday Débuts:

Vera Wang To Finally
Open On Mercer Street

Remember when Vera Wang was going to open a flagship boutique on Mercer Street in SoHo?
WWDwang3 It's been taking so long to put that place together that we practically forgot about it, but the store is happening and will open November 28th to add its part to this year's Black Friday frenzy.
While her original Madison Avenue shop still caters to brides, this new boutique will focus on Wang's ready-to-wear and less expensive Lavender labels, and will be the home to an elaborate interior design by Gabellini Sheppard Associates incorporating interchangeable elements to be reconfigured seasonally.
A stone's throw from Marc Jacobs and Marni, The multi-level 2,500 square foot space has 40-foot ceilings in places, and was subject to approval by the building's co-op board before Wang could proceed. "I found this space and held onto it for two years because I couldn’t decide on an architect and I wasn’t about to rush,” she tells WWD, “There are very edgy, cool New Yorkers here — Marci Klein lives upstairs. Everyone in this building are major stylistas — Fabien Baron, André Balazs. It was a rough board.”
The Shophound looks forward to a more detailed report after the Thanksgiving weekend.
For now, we are out of town for the holiday.
Enjoy your turkeys and best of luck to those venturing out for the record levels of Black Friday promotions this season. Stay focused and keep those elbows out.
Wang’s New SoHo Store Plays With Proportions (WWD)
Vera Wang Opens Friday November 28 at 158 Mercer Street between Houston & Prince Streets, SoHo

Up Go The Tents & Other News


• IF BRYANT PARK IS COVERED IN TENTS, then it must be Fall! Technically, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week starts tomorrow, but given the pushed up, slightly shortened schedule, several designers are jumping the gun today. Fashion week was supposed to be out of the park by now but given the fact that a suitable replacement site has yet to be found (and nothing seems to be on the horizon) the event looks to be staying put for at least a few more seasons. As a concession to Bryant Park's growing impatience, however, there will only be three rather than the usual four tents at the park, meaning a slightly lighter schedule there, but a lot more running around to other inconvenient venues around town. As usual, we will be reporting daily on the goings on pretty much wherever we get invited.
Veracoat• SIMPLY VERA VERA WANG Has arrived online a Kohl's a few days ahead of  its September 10 launch date. Unfortunately, the items are randomly mixed in with other merchandise rather than in its own online department, making for rather confusing browsing. One assumes that will change, though if you happen to find one item like this black coat for $138, the site then suggests others in the collection for a circuitous shopping experience. Eventually, we will make our way to Kohl's to get a good look ourselves, but until then, it's computer shopping for The Shophound.
Jovovichhawk • SPEAKING OF DESIGNER COLLABORATIONS, accomplished hyphenate Milla Jovovich will be featured along with partner Carmen Hawk at Target when their Jovovich-Hawk label is featured next spring in the store's Go International collection. Frankly, between sneakers and mass market stores, there are so many designer collaborations going on these days that we truly can't keep track. We love singer-model-actress-designer Milla because with all those jobs, she couldn't possibly have time for actual sleeping, and yet she's still really pretty, which still counts for something. Target seems to to have the best track record in signing hot designers such as Proenza Schouler, Devi Kroell and Loeffler Randall and pushing them to greater visibility. Jovovich and Hawk should expect to see a big growth spurt in their still small collection by this time next year.
Milla Jovovich Fashions New Target (LA Times via RACKED)

Vera Wang is Set For Mercer Street

VerawangsohoThe signs are up at the future Vera Wang boutique at 158 Mercer Street, right across the street form Marni and Marc Jacobs. The shop was announced in January, but no opening date was set, so we can't tell if the minimal interior we saw while peering through the door was Vera's, indicating an imminent opening, or left over from the previous occupant, which would mean a season or more to wait. The Shop will carry both the Vera Wang collection and her contemporary line, Lavender Label, but no bridal.
What we really want to know is whether or not Kohl's will be opening a pop-up shop in Manhattan to promote the launch of Simply Vera Vera Wang next month? It worked well enough for Target's Isaac Mizrahi and Proenza Schouler launches. If they don't, then we'll have to schlepp out to Secaucus or...Jersey City!
Speaking of the big red bullseye, RACKED has pictures of the upcoming line Loeffler Randall will be doing for them. Looks like we can expect another stampede in Brooklyn.
Vera Wang (Official Site)

Vera Wang Gets Dissected in the Sunday Times

Photograph by Kelly Shimoda for The New York Times
Just as her mass-priced line Simply Vera by Vera Wang is about to go on sale at Kohl's, The New York Times Sunday Business section took an extended look at the state of Vera Wang. The lingering questions, soon to have answers, are:

  • Is Simply Vera going to be too simply much fashion for millions of Kohl's customers across America?
  • Will the massification of Vera Wang hurt the exclusive cachet that the designer has worked so hard to build and preserve?

Wang, who is known for her...uh...directness, freely admits that she made the deal with the fast growing retailer to bolster the expense of her rapidly expanding signature collections and continue to, as she says, "do what she loves." We also learn way more than we needed to know about her Daddy issues. It was she who insisted that the line be a more faithful reflection of the look in her luxury collections, and Kohl's executives insist that surveys showed that their customers love Wang. But do they love her just for fantasy wedding dresses and seeing her gowns on celebrities at Red Carpet events, or do they actually have any place to go in gold bubble skirts in their own everyday lives? Fashion writers were surprised and delighted at the high style when the line was previewed to the press, but how does the typical Kohl's customer feel?

LINDA PAYNE, a 48-year-old nurse with a Vogue-like sense of style, is ecstatic that Vera Wang is coming to the Kohl’s store in a Paramus, N.J., mall. “I love Vera Wang,” she said in a parking-lot interview outside the store. “Her gowns are outrageous. My girlfriend just found one of her dresses on discount for her daughter’s prom.”
But another customer, who would not give her name as she headed into Kohl’s with a teenage daughter in tow, perused a catalog of Ms. Wang’s clothing and deemed all of it to be a bad fit for her.
“It’s too over the top,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine wearing that in my construction office. This is not ‘mom’ clothing. I would not wear that to work, or to a P.T.A. meeting, so where would I wear that?”

Here at The Shophound, we are great supporters of jazzing up P.T.A. meeting style (we see harem pants and lamé), but then, we have never been to one.
As for the potential prestige damage, the days when Halston's high end business collapsed as a result of his deal with JCPenney are long behind us. In fact, Bergdorf Goodman, the very store that spurred Halston's demise gave a huge party for Proenza Schouler just as their line was appearing at Target. The nearest Kohl's we can find is in Jersey City. Will Vera be able to lure us out of our comfy borough?

Can You Be Too Fashionable? by Eric Wilson and Michael Barbaro (NYTimes)



Fashion News: Vera Wang Finally Gets Engaged to Kohls

VeraCFDA Award Winning Designer, Bridal Queen and erstwhile Project Runway judge Vera Wang has finally ended years of rumors and speculation and signed with moderate retailer Kohl's to create Very Vera, a moderately priced apparel collection. We can expect to see it for Fall 2007 in Kohl's stores nationwide, that is if we ever manage to get to a Kohl's store. We don't actually know where one is. A lot of other people do, however, and Vera couldn't be happier to expand her customer base, especially because she is estimated to reap as much as $100 million from the deal.

Kohl's to Offer Designer Vera Wang Line (NYTimes)
Vera says 'I Do" to Kohl's (WWD)

Larsnilsson And the doors keep revolving. Nina Ricci designer Lars Nilsson has up and left the venerable Parisian house for unnamed "personal reasons." Nilsson had completed the Pre-Spring 2007 collection, and the Spring line will be completed by the remaining design team, but not presented on the runway. Speculation runs rampant that Ricci might be where outsted Rochas créateur Olivier Theyskens might land as Mario Grauso, the president of Puig, Ricci's parent, was seen at the last Rochas show. It seems more likely, however, that Theyskens will revive his own signature label. As for Nilsson, though Ricci's sales rose substantially under his creative direction, sources have him headed back to New York, where he once headed Bill Blass.

Nilsson Leaves Nina Ricci (Vogue UK)
Lars Nilsson Resigns at Nina Ricci (WWD)

Lohan It's no use dreading the inevitable. Ubiquitous starlet Lindsay Lohan is advancing her acting career by...creating a fragrance of course. Lohan tells Women's Wear Daily that she is in talks (which means her people are in talks) with Coty to launch a signature scent. You too can smell like a hard-partying post-teen starlet. Imagine that delightful aroma. Coty for their part refused to confirm or deny the story, which is wise. After all, remember when Lindsay announced she was costarring in "Mission Impossible III"? And then didn't.

Fashion Scoops: Eau De Lindsay? (WWD)