Fashion

Exclusive: Diesel, Nicola Formichetti Part Ways

MILAN — Diesel and Nicola Formichetti are parting ways after a four-year collaboration, WWD has learned.
In a joint exclusive phone interview, Diesel founder Renzo Rosso and Formichetti, artistic director, spoke in a friendly manner, sounding upbeat about the shared experience and about future prospects at the same time. “The contract expires at the end of December, so there is not that much to say. We’ve had five fantastic years [including early interaction with Formichetti]. It was a fantastic collaboration. I really love very much what was done, and the relationship between us is really special,” said Rosso.
The entrepreneur pointed to Formichetti’s Japanese background, saying that Japan was very inspirational every season, defining it as “the most avant-garde country,” and one that accounts for 21 percent of Diesel’s business. “He also has Italian blood, so he is special. I like him personally, and we complement each other,” added Rosso.
Asked what Formichetti brought to the denim and fashion brand, Rosso answered: “A fil rouge, from the beginning to the end. This was missing before, and the collections had become boring and a problem. His styling especially is amazing.”
Diesel is not naming a successor to the artistic director at the moment. “I believe

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Kering and LVMH’s Model Charter

In fashion history books, 2017 may well go down as the year in which models found their voice — and the industry started listening more intently.
For the first time, beginning with the spring season, French luxury groups Kering and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton implemented strict new measures governing the well-being of models, resulting in a ban on size-zero and under-16 models from shows including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Balenciaga and Céline.
Backed by François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, and Antoine Arnault, ceo of Berluti and a director at LVMH, the charter on the well-being of models unveiled in early September has had a ripple effect on other houses, and not just in Paris.
Among its directives: Models were to provide a medical certificate less than six months old certifying their overall health; models under 18 were to be accompanied by a chaperone or guardian at all times, and brands were to provide return transport for any model working after 8 p.m.
For casting director James Scully, who set the ball rolling during Paris Fashion Week in February by publicly denouncing several brands for allegedly mistreating models, the change has been swift and dramatic.
“So far, I think

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More Brands Go Coed, Calendars Shrink

The European runway calendars are steadily shrinking as a growing number of brands opt for coed displays.
Balenciaga earlier this month became one of the latest brands to scrap separate women’s and men’s shows. The brand, led by artistic director Demna Gvasalia, plans to stage its first such dual runway show during Paris Fashion Week in March for the fall season. This brings Balenciaga, owned by luxury group Kering, into line with its sister labels Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, which have already adopted mixed shows, staged during women’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris.
Etro, Missoni, Jil Sander, Dsquared2, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Kenzo, Moschino, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford and Cédric Charlier are among others to have already jumped on the coed bandwagon, and, most recently J.W. Anderson and Salvatore Ferragamo joined the pack. The latter revealed this month that it will hold its first coed runway show to unveil its men’s and women’s fall 2018 collections, designed by Guillaume Meilland and Paul Andrew, respectively. The show will mark the ready-to-wear debut of Andrew, who was previously women’s footwear creative director of the women’s line and was appointed creative director of the women’s line last October, succeeding Fulvio Rigoni.
Generally, having one

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Alessandro Michele: Fashion’s Accidental Superstar

Sometimes the stars align. They certainly have for Alessandro Michele and Gucci. That the brand’s creative director is WWD’s Newsmaker of the Year and fashion’s preeminent fascination du jour intrigues, all the more so because of his accidental ascent to the pinnacle of influence. Michele only got his shot when the top job opened up following Frida Giannini’s exit because of a chance assignment to host then-newly installed chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri, and explain to him the processes of the design staff.
At that point, Michele was (now famously) a behind-the-scenes studio guy, toiling to help realize someone else’s creative vision, one it turns out, that could not have been further from his own. Just being asked to show the new boss around might have ended there, were not Bizzarri a rare breed of modern ceo, one who believes passionately that, at the highest echelons of fashion, creativity fuels commerce. The two bonded, Michele impressed Bizzarri with his aesthetic fervor and got the job. “Intuition in this case is superimportant, even more than rationality,” Bizzarri told WWD’s CEO Summit in October.
Michele made an immediate impact — even before his appointment as creative director was confirmed in January 2015. Earlier that

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The Versace-Riccardo Tisci Failed Match

It was just not meant to be — but boy, did it make for industry fodder.
After rumors circulated for more than a year, the much-hyped and widely expected arrival of Riccardo Tisci at Versace never materialized. The elements for a potential match were there: Donatella Versace and Tisci’s long-standing friendship, which culminated with her appearing in Givenchy’s fall 2015 campaign; Tisci’s lifelong admiration for Gianni Versace’s legacy, and Donatella Versace’s inclination to champion young designers — see Anthony Vaccarello and Christopher Kane tapped to forge a new path for Versus. Tisci’s exit from Givenchy in February, after 12 years as the brand’s artistic director, immediately added fuel to the speculation.
The Versace house argued throughout that Donatella Versace was the creative director of the company and that there were no plans to change that, without ever addressing whether talks were being held with Tisci. He seemed a natural for the fashion house, given his penchant for bold prints, demonstrative hardware and tough chic. Industry sources believed Tisci, who had rejuvenated Givenchy’s image and with his social media reach and appeal was perceived as an additional element of coolness, could have helped boost business ahead of Versace’s potential initial public offering, which is

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Meghan Markle Woos the Royals — and the Public — With Her Brand of Fairy Dust

Meghan Markle is already hogging the headlines, forcing fashion web sites to crash and wooing the public with her confidence, poise and big smile.
Even Queen Elizabeth II has buckled under the weight of her charm and invited Markle to spend Christmas at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England before she marries Prince Harry on May 19.
Just one big question mark remains. Who will she choose to design her dress?
Will she choose one of her favorites, like Roland Mouret, Antonio Berardi or Erdem? Or nod to her American roots and pick a designer from home to create what is likely to be the wedding dress of the year?
That said, she loves niche brands and may take the opportunity to plump for an emerging talent — like the young Lady Di did by choosing David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her big day — or a relative unknown.
For the photo call at Kensington Palace last month to mark their official engagement, Markle wore a white belted coat from The Line over a green P.A.R.O.S.H. dress with nude heels by Aquazzura and yellow gold and opal earrings from Birks.
“Traditionally it would be an English designer, but perhaps as a nod to her heritage, she’ll

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Karl Lagerfeld’s Caroline Lebar on the Art of Tarts

QUEEN OF TARTS: The ever-disciplined Karl Lagerfeld may not be partial to pastry himself, but the designer on Thursday threw open the doors of the Saint-German flagship of his namesake brand for the launch of the second volume of tart recipes by his longtime communications director Caroline Lebar.
Fans including Nicole and Jean-Jacques Picart got in line to have copies of the book signed as Lebar’s son Louis Cussec — aka DJ Kuss — manned a set of decks at the store’s entrance.

Jean-Jacques and Nicole Picart
Dominique Maitre

Lagerfeld, who was on a shoot, could not attend the book signing in person but lent his support by phone, even if pies are not his thing.
“I’ve never had him try one. Besides, I only make them when I’m in the country,” said an upbeat Lebar, who confessed that she’s relatively new to the baking game. She first dabbled in pastry after buying a country house four years ago.

Louis Cussec
Dominique Maitre

“Before that I had never made a tart in my life, but we had fruit in the garden and I didn’t want to see it going to waste. I would buy ready-made pastry from the local store and started posting tarts on my Instagram account for

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Project Gravitas Launches Work Apparel Collection at Lord & Taylor

Project Gravitas has made the move into retail with the launch of an exclusive collection at Lord & Taylor. This is the direct-to-consumer brand’s first full-fledged department store retail experience.
The Project Gravitas offering, which comes in sizes 0 to 24, is being carried at Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue store in New York, the Washington, D.C., store and online at lordandtaylor.com. The 20-piece collection, named Best of Gravitas, includes a mix of bestsellers as well as the newly released WorkLeisure collection. Designed to perform as luxury work apparel, the inside of the garment feels like athleticwear. Prices range from $175 to $275 and include a blazer, pants, lace blouse, pencil skirt and dresses.
“I launched my company based on my first piece of professional feedback — I needed to find gravitas to be successful, most specifically a wardrobe that made me feel like my best self,” said founder Lisa Sun. “My goal every day is to give more women gravitas and support them so that they believe in themselves and feel gorgeous and confident.”

Founder Lisa Sun (right) and a model in her collection.
Courtesy Photo

Liz Rodbell, president of Lord & Taylor, said, “Project Gravitas inspires all women to have confidence and sends

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More Brands Go Coed, Calendars Shrink

The European runway calendars are steadily shrinking as a growing number of brands opt for coed displays.
Balenciaga earlier this month became one of the latest brands to scrap separate women’s and men’s shows. The brand, led by artistic director Demna Gvasalia, plans to stage its first such dual runway show during Paris Fashion Week in March for the fall season. This brings Balenciaga, owned by luxury group Kering, into line with its sister labels Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, which have already adopted mixed shows, staged during women’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris.
Etro, Missoni, Jil Sander, Dsquared2, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Kenzo, Moschino, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford and Cédric Charlier are among others to have already jumped on the coed bandwagon, and, most recently J.W. Anderson and Salvatore Ferragamo joined the pack. The latter revealed this month that it will hold its first coed runway show to unveil its men’s and women’s fall 2018 collections, designed by Guillaume Meilland and Paul Andrew, respectively. The show will mark the ready-to-wear debut of Andrew, who was previously women’s footwear creative director of the women’s line and was appointed creative director of the women’s line last October, succeeding Fulvio Rigoni.
Generally, having one

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Museum Moments

Museumgoers got their fill of vintage fashion this year, as Christian Dior celebrated its 70th anniversary with a series of retrospectives across the world, and Yves Saint Laurent opened two museums, in Paris and Marrakech.
More than 585,000 people have seen “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris since the blockbuster show opened on July 5.
Billed as the largest fashion exhibition ever hosted at the museum, it was inaugurated in the presence of French First Lady Brigitte Macron and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, alongside brand ambassadors like Jennifer Lawrence and Robert Pattinson.
“It shows that Christian Dior continues to fascinate a growing public, and it’s also proof that it’s possible to stage ever more sophisticated fashion exhibitions that act not just as a showcase for big brands or houses but that really place their designs and founder within the context of the history of art and fashion,” said Olivier Gabet, museum director at Les Arts Décoratifs.
The brand was also the subject of exhibitions in Australia and Canada. “The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture” ran at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne from Aug. 27 to Nov. 7.

A

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Jonathan Saunders Resigns as Chief Creative Officer of DVF

PARIS – Jonathan Saunders has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The news comes days after von Furstenberg told WWD she plans to sell a stake in her fashion company. The designer and chairwoman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) plans to hire Michel Dyens & Co., a leading independent investment banking firm, to explore options.
Saunders joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories, store design, web site design, a new corporate brand identity and marketing including advertising campaigns.
At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director.
The British designer’s last collection for the label was his pre-fall lineup, inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point.”
“I am grateful for Diane’s support and for the opportunity of guiding this iconic brand. I am so proud of everything we have accomplished in the past 18 months. I thank the incredible team for their dedication and support, and will continue to be a friend and admirer of the brand,” Saunders said in a

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Bridget Foley’s Diary: Behind the ‘Thread’

Contrary to early-fashion industry scuttlebutt, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” is not about Charles James. Nor is it about fashion, per se. Rather, “Phantom Thread” is about creative angst as a cover for personal unpleasantness. Protagonist Reynolds Woodcock is a genius in his own mind, despite little scripted indication of where exactly he fits in his industry’s hierarchy. Self-entitled to treat people badly — especially those women deemed disposable as their inspiration quotients wane — he believes that the demands of his craft justify, and even require, his arrogance and disdain. At least until he meets his match in Vicky Krieps’ determined Alma.
That craft, Fifties British couture, creates the aura for “Phantom Thread’s” strange exoticism within which familiarity and wonder simultaneously antagonize and coalesce. Anderson’s own uncredited cinematography beautifully depicts that world, realized in large part via the work of Mark Bridges. The Oscar-winning costume designer for “The Artist” and frequent Anderson collaborator created the overall aesthetic and individual fashion looks of the House of Woodcock, seat of power of Daniel Day-Lewis’ couturier and his behind-the-scenes sister Cyril, played by Lesley Manville in an austere, iron-maiden turn à la “Rebecca’s” Mrs. Danvers. Only Cyril’s not evil, just a tad creepy

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Guo Pei Among Headliners at the NGV Triennial in Melbourne

SYDNEY — Five weeks after shuttering its record-breaking Christian Dior retrospective — which drew 276,034 visitors in 14 weeks — Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria is unveiling its latest fashion project: a large-scale installation of the work of Guo Pei.
Featuring the Chinese couturier’s spring 2017 “Legend” collection, the 3,875-square-foot installation is one of 22 world premier works created for the Triennial, a free exhibition that runs from Friday through April 15 and showcases the work of more than 100 artists and designers from 32 countries.
Inspired by the Baroque murals of Switzerland’s UNESCO World Heritage listed St. Gallen Cathedral, Guo Pei’s heavily embellished collection features fabrics developed with Switzerland’s Jakob Schlaepfer.
The installation’s most spectacular space features a multimedia recreation of the cathedral’s dome.
“Part of the ambition of this particular Triennial is to introduce audiences to new work,” NGV curator of fashion and textiles Paola Di Trocchio said. “Guo Pei has been practicing for 30 years, [but] her work has only really relatively recently hit the international stage. She was admitted to the Chambre Syndicale in 2015, so again there’s this change in the way that fashion is being represented and we wanted to represent that change, too.”
Other new works include an installation of

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Asics Opens New York Flagship and Includes Tiger Collection

NEW YORK — Asics is back in the New York retail fray.
Two years after a dispute with a licensee led to the abrupt closure of all 13 of its full-price stores in the U.S., the Japanese activewear brand has opened a new flagship on Fifth Avenue.
The 2,035-square-foot store at 579 Fifth Avenue at 47th Street opened to the public Thursday and is located one block north of the Adidas flagship.
The new Asics unit is the first in North America to sport the brand’s global retail concept that seeks to stimulate customers’ minds as well as their bodies. It also marks the first time in the U.S. that the core Asics product as well as the younger-skewed Asics Tiger line are offered in the same location.

The store is located on 47th Street.
Getty Images for ASICS

“We’re bringing the brand to life in a retail environment,” said Sarah Bishop, vice president of marketing. Upon entering, there is an area where the company’s new marketing campaign, I Move Me featuring DJ Steve Aoki, is brought to life through the use of an infinity mirror, LED light columns and visuals from the campaign.
Bishop said the area will also be used as “an activation space” where

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Ports Breaks into See-Now, Buy-Now with New, Unisex Label

LONDON – Ports is joining the see-now, buy-now crowd with the launch of a contemporary line known as Ports V, designed by the brand’s men’s wear creative director Milan Vukmirovic.
As part of the change in strategy, Ports 1961 men’s wear will not stage a fashion show in Milan in January.
The new label will feature bi-monthly, unisex capsule collections in an effort to be more reactive to a millennial customer base “for whom newness, exclusivity and accessible price points are integral to their contemporary fashion experience,” the company said.
“Finally, it seems we are able to reject previously accepted doctrine and provide the consumer with exactly what they want, when they want it, rather than be dictated to by show calendars, market schedules and delivery times,” said the designer.
Ports V will be focused on e-commerce, and the plan is to work in partnership with selected digital platforms. The first capsule drop is planned for March and will be announced via the brand’s social media platforms.
The brand added that the e-commerce-driven Ports V label “emphasizes our commitment to engage with a new generation, at more accessible price points, as predictably they will be our core consumer in the next decade.”

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Notable Models Front Versace Spring 2018 Ads

Prints! Colors! Supermodels! Versace’s ad campaign for spring seems to call for exclamation marks.
Segueing from the strong collection Donatella Versace designed for spring as a tribute to her late brother Gianni on the 20th anniversary of his death, the campaign emphasizes the newly revisited archival prints. The fashion show in September ended with five of Gianni Versace’s favorite models — Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer — posing in a tableaux vivant and walking the length of the runway with artistic director Donatella Versace, which made for the social media moment of Milan Fashion Week.
The ad campaign due to bow on Dec. 18 is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by Campbell; Christy Turlington; Gisele Bündchen; Natalia Vodianova; Raquel Zimmermann; Irina Shayk; Gigi Hadid; Kaia Gerber; Vittoria Ceretti; Cara Taylor; Birgit Kos; Grace Elizabeth, and Noah Luis Brown. “Naomi had to be by my side for this very special campaign celebrating Gianni….She is family to me,” Versace said.
“It has been amazing shooting this campaign surrounded by all of my friends and some of Gianni’s to whom this collection is a tribute,” she continued. “I felt so many different emotions at the same time, but

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Irving L. Rousso, Founding Partner of Russ Togs, Dies at 92

Services will be held Thursday for Irving L. Rousso, a founding partner and president of Russ Togs Inc., and a philanthropist, at Riverside Chapel at 180 West 76th Street in New York at 12:30 p.m.
Rousso, 92, died Monday in Southampton, N.Y., from natural causes, according to his wife, Barbara.
Tall and imposing, Rousso was known for his tough, demanding and ambitious demeanor. Born and raised on New York’s Lower East Side, Rousso left school after eighth grade and started working for relatives in their factory in New Jersey. He served in the U.S. Navy and survived the German V2 bombing of the Rex Theater in Antwerp, which left more than 560 killed. After being honorably discharged, he and his older brother, Eli, started Russ Togs, a sportswear manufacturer, in 1946. Over the years, Russ Togs, which went public in 1960, became a leading women’s sportswear manufacturer and produced apparel under such labels as Russ, Villager and Crazy Horse.
Rousso was featured prominently in the HBO documentary “From Rags to Riches to Rags,” about New York’s garment industry and was shown to be a rough and aggressive businessman. The 2009 movie tells the story of the vanishing garment center through the voices of the

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British Fashion Council Stands Up for Models With Initiative

MODEL CITIZENS: The British Fashion Council has teamed with the British Fashion Model Agency Association in an effort to make models’ lives safer — and easier. As part of The Models First Initiative, the two parties plan to set guidelines for appropriate work practices and help models negotiate visa regulations in the run-up to Brexit.
The BFC said it plans to help create a charter the industry can adhere to, and create a safe space where models and agencies can call out abuse and misconduct. The initiative is a part of Positive Fashion, a BFC pillar that promotes best practices and positive change in the industry.
Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, said she had been approached by the model agency association to help in setting codes of practice for the agencies and the industry. “They understood the need to develop an independent committee that will challenge agencies, as well as industry norms, to ensure that models are treated with the same respect and care as all employees in the industry.”
Rush said the stories highlighted through #MeToo, the social media hashtag used to spotlight sexual crimes and harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, “has meant that there is no better time

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A team of Italian Fashion Experts Sets Grifoni Relaunch

MILAN — A duo of Italian fashion entrepreneurs is re-launching the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear brand Grifoni .
Federico Zannini, the owner of Market Industries SpA, which operates the Jucca, Suoli and Tessa labels, and Giambattista Tirelli, founder of Olmar & Mirta, which controls the Getryportofino, Uma Wang and Fisico brands, a year ago acquired the financially struggling Grifoni company for 5 million euros.
The operation was conducted trough Strong Srl, which is equally controlled by Zannini and Tirelli.
“Giambattista and myself are longtime friends and we have always said we wanted to do something together,” said Zannini, who is Grifoni’s chief executive officer, while Tirelli, who also owns a stake in the Rick Owens brand, is president. “When we found out that Grifoni was facing several problems, we decided to invest in the label.”
Following the acquisition, Zannini and Tirelli asked the brand’s founder, Mauro Grifoni, who exited the company in 2012, to reassume the creative reins of the firm, which is positioned in the premium segment of the luxury market.
In a move aimed at recapturing the brand’s visibility, the management team opened a flagship on Milan’s Via Ponte Vetero in the Brera district and reorganized the distribution, which is directly controlled by

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Sophia Amoruso Nabs Another $2M for Girlboss

FASTER THAN THE…: Sophia Amoruso’s digital media firm Girlboss has pulled in another $2 million.
The company — which focuses on female empowerment through digital content on its web site, a podcast and conferences — confirmed the raise Wednesday. The capital brings its total seed funding raise to date to $3.1 million, including capital raised in August, and marks the round’s close.
The latest raise was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and included serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, cofounder and chief executive officer of digital agency VaynerMedia, and entertainment management firm Atom Factory.
Girlboss said it will continue to make hires and expand on the digital front with the funding. To that end, Katie Gowdy Pridham was hired as head of brand partnerships, joining the Silver Lake-based company after having worked at Refinery29, New York Magazine and Elle.com. Girlboss has filled a number of key positions with experienced executives this year, such as president and chief revenue officer Alison Wyatt, who previously worked at Goop and Refinery29, in addition to chief operating officer and editor in chief Neha Gandhi, another Refinery29 alum.
“It’s been incredible to see so many brilliant, ambitious and creative young women respond to Girlboss in the short time since we launched,

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MadaLuxe Group Sets Sights on Retail With Vault Concept

Luxury fashion distributor MadaLuxe Group has entered retail with a proposition that combines two sectors bucking much of the pain points in today’s shifting consumer landscape.
That is, open a multi-brand luxury, off-price boutique in one of the busiest outlet centers in the nation, making a splash at its first move into brick-and-mortar retail ahead of plans to continue expanding the concept next year.
“With luxury, if you really think about it, all of Europe is known for their multi-brand luxury boutiques. The U.S. is not,” said MadaLuxe Group chief executive officer and cofounder Sandy Sholl. “Jeffrey sold to Nordstrom a few years ago. There’s just very few so this country doesn’t have a lot of those to begin with in full-line and there’s never been a multi-brand, multi-category luxury off-price boutique experience.”
That’s a mouthful but, in short, MadaLuxe Vault’s 3,000-square-foot space at the Citadal Outlets brings an assortment from about 20 brands catering to women and men across apparel, accessories and footwear.
“The two sectors of the retail space that have been performing for a very long time and continue to do so are off-price and luxury,” said cofounder and president Adam Freede. “Putting the two of them together takes brands that

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