Phoebe Philo Phinally Launches, Essentiel Antwerp Opens In NYC, Paul Smith Melrose 2.0, Plus! What Makes Jonathan Anderson Tick?

by Freya Drohan

Essentiel Antwerp celebrated new NYC store with a cocktail soirée

Vivid and vibrant Belgian brand Essentiel Antwerp has officially arrived in the US, with the unveiling of the inaugural American store. Now open at 74 Wooster Street in Soho, the boutique expands on the international Essential Antwerp offering of some 36 stores around the world. Co-founders Inge Osnea and Esfan Eghtessadi, who launched the brand in 1999 with just a range of t-shirts were in town for the bash, inviting fashionable attendees to join them for a collection viewing, a DJ set by Jade Croo, and an interactive food installation curated by artist Laila Gohar.Among the guests who stopped by were Daphne Velghe, Karina Bik, Karen Blanchard, Aïssata Diallo, Eddy Elize, Ash Forde, and many more.

Jonathan Anderson sits down with Vogue Business

Ahead of accepting the International Designer of the Year accolade at the CFDA Fashion Awards next week, Northern Irishman Jonathan Anderson of JW Anderson and Loewe discussed the complexities of being a creative director today, outrage, change, and the last decade at ‘the world’s hottest brand.’ In conversation with Luke Leitch, the 39-year-old, which the latter calls “one of the greatest fashion designers of our time” talks about reinvention and evolution, saying:”I’m a believer in change, but I think irrational change can lead to a toxic environment. I am merely a guardian of Loewe for as long as I am here. My job is to build it in a way that it is built on stone, because I would be doing an incredibly bad design job if it were to collapse. With my own brand I actually like the idea that my brand will be this one thing. I don’t need it to be a billion dollar business: bigger does not always mean better. And you have to enjoy the creative part of it. As you get older, you change and your taste changes. It’s very different [for me] now, from when I did ruffled shorts.”

Jonathan Anderson

Phoebe Philo has opened for business

At 11.04AM, finally went live, revealing the collection the revered designer has been working on since announcing her return to fashion. Titled A1, it’s the first of intentionally seasonless, traditional calendar-adverse rollouts (“edits”) that the label has planned. Declining all interview requests, the British designer supplied a manifesto alongside the inaugural release, implying that limited production to ensure a luxury/insider appeal will shape the future of the LVMH-backed brand. “Our aim is to create a product that reflects permanence. The Phoebe Philo business model is designed to create a responsible balance between production and demand. For us, this means producing notably less than anticipated want,” it reads. As estimated, prices are on the ultra high-end, with high-waisted trousers (a Philo specialty) averaging $2,400, bags hovering in the $3,500-$8,200 range, and certain coats going up to $16,000 or $25,000. Overall, the first edit has some 150 pieces, with two more drops coming between now and the end of the year.

Paul Smith is back on Melrose

Those of a certain vintage will remember the Paul Smith store on Melrose Avenue before it became known as “the pink wall” as fashion bloggers rose in fame and content creation became de rigueur. ICYMI—the British brand’s Los Angeles boutique has been undergoing a makeover for quite some time, with a redesign inspired by the iconic Charles and Ray Eames’ Case Study Houses. The shop now features dedicated sections for menswear, womenswear, and accessories, as well as a lounge-like tailoring area and VIP fitting space with a separate garden entrance, each kitted out with a blend of new and vintage furniture, custom mosaics by Charlie Sheppard, and a parade of Sunrise Cactuses from the recent Gufram x Paul Smith collab. Oh, and yes, the #PinkWall is very much still present too.

Shein buys Missguided

Chinese clothing company Shein is buying the Missguided brand name, trademarks, and intellectual property from Frasers Group, which bought it out of administration last June for approximately $24 million. According to the BBC, Frasers is retaining the real estate as well as Missguided’s employees as part of the deal. Shein has said it will “reignite” the brand, which it bought for an unknown sum, and the purchase also marks Shein’s first UK-based acquisition. Reuters adds that Shein will bring the Missguided label onto its existing platform, which already serves about 150 million users.


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MONFRÈRE unveils SS24 collection

MONFRÈRE and co-founder Steven Dann unveiled their SS24 collection last week with a presentation and cocktail party hosted at their new Manhattan showroom space overlooking the Empire State Building. Nico Tortorella, Eric West, Olly Sholotan, Alexander Roth, Tanner Reese, Davis Burleson, Jack Innanen, Josh Riviera, and more came out to listen to jams by DJ Mick Batyske and cocktails from Maestro Dobel Tequila, Brother’s Bond Bourbon and beers from Heineken.


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