The Fashion Statement: All in the Family
When it comes to fashion, families rule.
In Manhattan yesterday, Moises de la Renta, son of Oscar, debuted his very first collection, a limited edition T-shirt line called MDLR for a Spanish chain. Moises has been widely quoted for saying his designs meld his father's classic aesthetic with a younger, rock and roll edge. He said he went after traditional romantic themes: "from pretty patchworks with summer flowers in somber colors such as rose, violet, grey and black to graphic illusions which combine transparent effects, with shiny gems and adornments in between." For between $36 to $50, snag an MDLR T-shirt at Mango stores this month.
Famous fashion families seem to be popping up everywhere. Pasadena sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy have zoomed into the fashion stratosphere in a relatively very short time with their Rodarte brand. Actress Sienna Miller and her sis Savannah are having success with Twenty8Twelve. And, of course, there are the Olsen twins with The Row and Elizabeth & James. Mother Tina and Beyonce Knowles run the House of Dereon. And Nathalie Rykiel has been working alongside her mother Sonia for decades.
Just a few weeks ago, Madonna is betting a tween line she's designing with daughter Lourdes Ciccone (called-what else?-Material Girl) will ring the registers at Macy's.
Famiglia in the fashion trade is nothing new, particularly in Italy. Just consider the number of Italian fashion firms that get handed down from generation to generation. Angela Missoni, daughter of founder Vittorio, is currently creative director of Missoni. Ferruccio, Giovanna, Leonardo, Massimo and Fulvia all play a part in the Salvatore Ferragamo. And the Etro clan includes Kean, Jacopo and Ippolito and Veronica. And who can forget the media spotlight on Donatella Versace when she took over her brother Gianni's house after his murder in 1997?
Why so many family affairs? Turns out the family business is one of the oldest and one of the best business models (read Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, Guess?). Experts agree stability, agility and long-term thinking make family business better suited to weather an economic downturn.
Sure you have the Andrew Lauren's of the world who, instead of getting involved with Polo Ralph Lauren, decided to become an independent film producer. Daughter Dylan runs the upscale Dylan's Candy Bar. Only the middle son, David, is a family guy and works in his father's clothing business as head of advertising and communications.
But, for the most part, a significant segment of the fashion world is all about the fam.