Thursday, May 2, 2013

Halston Heritage Lands on Madison Avenue

When one hear's the name HALSTON it evokes memories of 1970's disco, chic dressing, drugs and a period of time where fashion broke new ground namely the man himself, but in 2013 it seems more of a Greek tragedy then a happy memory.

The first of what is to be many Halston Heritage stores has opened up on Madison Ave and 83rd Street showcasing a two level store. The company is now under new ownership by way of Ben Malka who was BCBG's past president along with other investors.

Upon entering the new store its quite well designed and has more than enough merchandise to satisfy female shoppers, to the point that there might be too much on the racks and the design focus a tad misdirected. Between the construction of the store and the amount of merchandise it seems Mr. Malka has spared no expense.

According to the staff; the design studio has been moved to Los Angeles California and the designing is under a "design team". Usually when one hear's the words "design team" its not a good thing since one cannot put a face to the brand in a design sense. But one thing is for certain, this is the biggest financial relaunch for Halston I have ever seen. Past owner Harvey Weinstein tried his hand at a revival but failed on a few different fronts. With names like Rachel Zoe and Sara Jessica Parker named creative director after Marco Zanini the house was dead in its tracks. According to a interview from WWD Malka is quoted "We are very well-funded, so I don't have to worry about that. The money was put in by myself and my partners in a big way", he said. While he demurred on the amount of the stake, he quipped, "The amount is enough for us to screw up for a long time".

Upon going to the Halston Heritage website there is fashion editorial tear sheets which they have placed in their press section but most of these are from non-fashion publications. More so, the magazines are for local markets like Miami which have small circulation and sadly the potential Halston customer does not reside.

As for the product itself surprisingly it has potential! The small goods and handbags are fresh and different offering women an alternative to other established brands which have sadly been played-out due to a "follow the leader" mentality, think LVMH.

As for the price points everything in the store is under $1,000.00, shoes check in a $395.00 and evening wear is around $700.00, bags depending on size range between $395-$550.00 roughly.

The real test for Halston Herritage is how the company moves forward. In a world of Alexander Wang's and Joseph Altuzarra's it leaves little room for a historic fashion house like this to gain any ground after the many previous attempts to bring it back to it's former glory. In my opinion this is the last dance, but the house has more than enough money to go out like the Japanese WWII battleship Musashi! She was the biggest, the best, but in time she met her fate.

Photo: Halston,


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