Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where, oh where, is Halston?

       This is New York Fashion Week and according to the New York Times, everyone was there--- except the Halston label.

       Halston has been a revolving door since Roy Halston Frowick died of AIDS complications in San Francisco in 1990. The brand now has complications of its own.

       Halston's rise was meteoric. In 1966, known mostly for his hats, he opened a boutique at Bergdorf Goodman. Seven years later he was one of five American designers in "The Battle of Versailles", the event that proclaimed the emergence of American fashion.

       When Halston agreed to create a line for J.C. Penney, Bergdorf cancelled their contract. Then, from owner to owner: Beatrice Foods, Revlon, Borghese cosmetics. Movie producer Harvey Weinstein and Sarah Jessica Parker tried to steer the ship.Today, Ben Malka, a former president of BCBG Max Azaria, is chairman and c.e.o.

       According to the Times, the main investor, Jeffrey B. Hecktman, sums up the fashion business this way: "Everything is a lot of noise, and I understand noise sells. But this business is not about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey is not the brand. Sarah Jessica Parker is not the brand. I invested in Halston, and everything else is additive."

       Halston was incredibly talented. A lot of people seem to be attracted to fashion for the glitz, the buzz. Great designers are attracted by the art. They have an emotional need to create, and fashion is their medium. Which is to say, there seem to be at least three kinds of people attracted to the fashion business: those that love the fashion part, those that are good at the business part, and those who are good at the party part.

      The same thing is true about the advertising business. I've always said I'd hate to be in the advertising business if I couldn't make an ad. That would make me very nervous. Advertising is already a nervous business, because it's an art, not a science, and not everybody can just jump in and be a success.

      Which brings us to the Halston management of today. One group is always talking about licensing the brand. Hopefully, they won't have to resort to that approach. It completely diluted the Pierre Cardin brand.

       Let's hope they get back to making fashion. That's what Halston is, Mr. Hechtman.

No comments:

Post a Comment