OLIVIER’S RETURN: It was hard to miss the Balmain party in Manhattan Wednesday evening. Turning off Madison Avenue and onto 59th Street, the sidewalk in front of the boutique was painted highlighter yellow, which not only illuminated the party’s entrance from blocks away but also gave attendees a buttercup-like effect on their faces once they arrived. It was anything but subtle, which felt perfectly on brand for the celebration.
People in club-ready looks — Balmain, of course — strutted down the street as they approached the store. Lea Michelle, Tommy Dorfman, Nina Agdal and Victor Glemaud were some of the guests who turned out, welcoming Olivier Rousteing back to New York. While the Madison Avenue store opened in September 2020, Rousteing hadn’t been back to Manhattan to see the store since before the pandemic.
“New York has always been such a dream for me, because it’s the city of the dream, it’s the city of dynamism and energy,” the designer said in front of the store, after being pulled away from the many adoring fans and shoppers eager to greet him. “I know that Balmain is such a French brand from 1945 but what I’ve tried to do in the 10 years of my career at Balmain was always to push the global; Balmain was not only Parisian but international in my mind.
“I have to say that I would never be who I am without American support, from the many people here,” he continued. “I’m not only talking about celebrities, I’m talking about the press, the journalists, retailers and wholesalers. Tonight is about thanking America for the love and support that they gave me.”
It was his first time seeing the store, which he described as having a chic French touch with an American modern vibe. While in town, he planned to have a nice dinner out with his team before speaking at Parsons and meeting with Netflix.
The night also marked the announcement of the Balmain NFT, a long-term, global partnership with MintNFT.
Before Rousteing headed back into the store and to the throngs waiting to greet him, he disclosed his favorite look from last week’s Met Gala.
“My favorite look from the Met Ball last week, I had a couple that I really loved but to be completely honest I would say…the Kim K look,” he said. “It was not only about the dress, it was about the concept and saying how iconic she is today, and how iconic was Marilyn [Monroe], and bringing them together on this red carpet showed that all the fights she went through to be the woman she is today and being respected by the fashion industry. Now she has access to the most iconic woman of the world. It’s a good revolution.” — LEIGH NORDSTROM
DESTINATION DUBAI: Belgian luxury brand Delvaux has made its first move into the Middle East with the opening of its store at Dubai Mall on Thursday.
The Brussels-based house has found a home on the ground floor or the Fashion Avenue section of the Emirati luxury shopping destination, where its neighbors include Dior, Piaget, Alaïa and Bulgari.
Chief executive officer Jean-Marc Loubier, who returned to the helm after the brand was acquired by Compagnie Financière Richemont in June 2021, stated it was “a pleasure and a commitment for Delvaux to be present in such a different and cosmopolitan city.”
The 2,100-square-foot unit has been designed in collaboration with Milan-based architectural bureau Vudafieri Saverino, who previously designed a number of Delvaux boutiques including stores in Rome and Milan.
Inside, the slick marble of the walls is counterbalanced by the oak Point de Hongrie parquet floor and wall units nodding to traditional Flemish furniture. Antique tools of leatherworking craft decorate an arch that separates a second space, home to a leather goods bar nodding to the European café tradition that will offer personalization options such as hot-stamping. A separate lounge can be used for private events.
To mark the opening, its windows feature a display nodding to the Atomium, an atom-shaped landmark building that shares its 1958 construction date with the brand’s Brillant handbag.
Delvaux has 57 stores globally, including 34 in Asia, its main market, and six in its homeland of Belgium.
Its next boutique in the Middle East is slated to open in the second half of 2022 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. — LILY TEMPLETON
THE HAMPTONS LOCAL: In a pop-up format, Nordstrom Local is headed to the Hamptons.
Nordstrom Local will occupy an 850-square-foot site at 395 Country Road in Southampton, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
The pop-up will provide pickups of online orders made on nordstrom.com and nordstromrack.com, returns, alterations, fashion advice from a stylist and gift wrap, and also take in used clothing and shoes for donations to Housing Works, and empty beauty packaging for recycling.
In 2020 Nordstrom began offering same- and next-day delivery services to the Hamptons, as many urbanites flocked to Long Island’s East End due to the pandemic.
Nordstrom Locals are service hubs to make shopping more convenient and are not merchandised with products for shopping. There are seven permanent Nordstrom Locals — two in Manhattan and five in California, including two in Los Angeles and one each in Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Monica.
“Nordstrom Local service hubs play an important role in delivering on our Closer to You strategy and our priority to win in our most important markets because they allow us to get physically closer to our customers,” Jamie Nordstrom, chief stores officer at Nordstrom Inc., said in a statement on the retailer’s website.
The Closer to You strategy leverages the physical assets of Nordstrom’s full-line department stores, Nordstrom Rack and Nordstrom Local to increase services, conveniences and merchandise choices, and speed deliveries. For example, shoppers can return items bought online or at Nordstrom department stores to a Rack or Nordstrom Local location, which may be closer to them. Nordstrom sees the strategy as strengthening customer engagement and the company’s customer-centric culture.
The New York metro area is one of Nordstrom’s largest markets with seven full-line stores, 15 Rack off-price stores and two Nordstrom Locals. “New Yorkers have embraced Nordstrom Locals since we opened our first two locations on the Upper East Side and West Village in 2019,” said Chris Wanlass, vice president and general manager, New York City. “This summer at our Nordstrom Local pop-up in the Hamptons, we’ll continue to make it easy for our customers and expand how and where we serve them.” — DAVID MOIN
‘STRANGER’ COLOR: MAC Cosmetics is continuing its partnership with Netflix by releasing a makeup collection inspired by “Stranger Things.”
The line, which will be available starting Sunday, is heavily inspired by the show’s eerie plot lines and 1980s time period, with vibrant eyeshadow palettes, brushes, lip glosses and blushes that immerse consumers in the spirit of the series and its two opposing universes: the nostalgic 1980s of the human world and the dark mystery of the Upside Down.
“So much about this collaboration makes sense for MAC and ‘Stranger Things’ to work together,” André Branch, senior vice president and general manager of MAC, told WWD. “The fashion, the artistry, the product benefits, the packaging — all that we’ve put together for this will really bring this series to light in a way that makes sense for the fans and for us.”
The makeup company has successfully partnered with Netflix for collections inspired by the streamer’s other hit shows, such as “Selena: The Series,” “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Emily in Paris.”
“Through the product, we really wanted to make sure that we translated the spirit of these two opposing universes — the youthful ‘80s nostalgia and the Upside Down — into one mega collection,” Branch said. “Now we’re going to be providing our fans with an arsenal of tools to create looks perfect for either dimension.”
The MAC and “Stranger Things” limited-edition collaboration will be available for purchase starting May 15 exclusively in stores and online at Ulta Beauty and MAC’s official e-commerce site. Products range in price from $20 to $45.
“Ulta is a great partner for us. We’re really thrilled to have them as the exclusive retail partner for the MAC ‘Stranger Things’ collection,” Branch said. “MAC and Ulta Beauty are growing. We’re excited to continue the momentum and keep building our exclusive partnerships with Ulta Beauty.”
“We’re very honored and feel privileged to be doing this in partnership with MAC,” Maria Salcedo, senior vice president at Ulta Beauty, told WWD. “We know that ‘Stranger Things’ is one of the most successful series Netflix has, and all of the stars in the show have had really strong successes thereafter as well. So it’s really an honor for us to be working in this trifecta with MAC and Netflix, and this beautiful show that they have.”
The collection will also be available for purchase at Ulta Beauty at Target, which according to Salcedo, is a relatively new approach for the beauty retailer.
“We really want to make this a really big collection, leveraging all of our outlets and our omnichannel sale points that are available to the guests,” Salcedo said.
The launch of the makeup collection comes ahead of the hit show’s much-anticipated fourth season premiere, which is scheduled for release in two volumes. The first is set for May 27 while the second is slated for July 1. — CONCHITA WIDJOJO