Olsen Twins Launch Handbag Division of Elizabeth and James
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and InStyle’s Ariel Foxman threw a cocktail party in the penthouse of Chateau Marmont on Wednesday night to celebrate the fall launch of Elizabeth and James handbags. Anxious party-goers included Ashley Madekwe, Ahna O’Reilly and Scandal’s Katie Lowes. Guests were given a leather pouch as a parting gift. This the first new category that the duo has done in-house so they were able to control the process. “We knew sight unseen the product would be great,” said Foxman of booking the magazine’s July feature on the bags. “The girls have really transcended to being bona fide designers.”
Arcadia Group Continues To Expand into the U.S.
Britain’s Arcadia Group is looking to build its presence in the U.S., and not just with Topshop. Arcadia this week staged its first U.S. “group preview” of its Miss Selfridge, Evans, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis brands at the Bryant Park Hotel in Manhattan. And behind the scenes, Arcadia is in talks with Nordstrom and Macy’s regarding selling Miss Selfridge in those stores. Topshop is well known in the U.S., where it already operates four brick-and-mortar stores, as well as inside some Nordstrom stores, but the other Arcadia labels are less known and are only available online in the United States. Evans, a plus-size collection, will be rolled out to more Nordstrom doors, from the current six. The Arcadia brands are well-established in the U.K. and cater to different demographics and lifestyles. The Arcadia Group is owned by Sir Philip Green.
Nordstrom Announces Big Plans For Expansion of Rack
The openings are part of Nordstrom Inc.’s goal of having over 230 Racks in operation by 2016, a number it could reach even earlier than that. There currently are 127 Racks, with plans to open 24 this year and another 30 in 2014.
Among this year’s openings is likely to be a 42,000-square-foot unit in Brooklyn, N.Y., the company’s first store in the borough of 2.8 million people, which retailers from across the price spectrum have been flocking to of late. Nordstrom is expected to sign the lease this week. Rack is also expanding in California, Texas and South Florida and in cities such as Chicago; tailoring assortments to local tastes; opening Rack units in areas where demographics couldn’t support a full-line store, and targeting university towns such as Eugene, Ore., near the University of Oregon.
The retailer is elevating the off-price shopping experience by bringing technology to Rack stores. Now shoppers don’t have to line up” because sales associates with POS devices go to them. The expansion of Rack is part of Nordstrom’s aggressive growth plan over the next five years. In that time period, the Seattle-based upscale chain will almost double its capital expenditures to $3.7 billion, compared to the $1.9 billion spent over the last five years.
Joe Zee to Teach at Fashion Camp in Hamptons
Joe Zee, Elle’s creative director and his partner, Rob Younkers, are starting on August 5 a two-week crash course in design and garment construction called Stitched Fashion Camp for teenagers, boys and girls, ages 10 to 14. The fashion teens will spend six hours in a studio in East Hampton, New York, getting lessons on illustration, design, construction, styling — even visual merchandizing, according to its Web site. “They will sew a skirt or shorts, rework a T- shirt, and create a look from their illustrated collection,” said a description of the curriculum. The camp will cost $1850 and includes supplies.
– Selicia A. Walker