Marni Fashion Fans Have a Chance to Shop Archival Pieces – WWD

Many of the well-heeled attendees at Marni’s New York fashion show on Sept. 10 will be sporting the label, thanks to a trove of archival items that Cameron Silver has already started pre-selling. The Decades founder and luxury brands consultant will also host a trunk show on Sept. 7 at the Marni store on Madison Avenue to give shoppers a closer look. Some of his prized clients from Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Arkansas will be jetting in to see the one-of-a-kind pieces and to decide which to don to the runway show.

While editors, influencers and other forces in the fashion industry are known to synchronize their labels to represent whichever runway shows they are attending, Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso took that practice to a new level by outfitting every single person who attended the brand’s show last fall in Marni.

Along with Fendi, Marni is one of the European labels touching don in Manhattan for the first time. The digitally savvy and marketing-minded Renzo Rossi, president of Marni’s parent company OTB, certainly knows how to create memorable experiences.

With New York Fashion Week shifting into high gear for the first time since the pandemic took hold, and millions heading back to the back their offices a few days per week, Silver believes consumers will dress up again. ”Early in the pandemic, I started telling brands, ’Don’t think that we’re going to be wearing sweats for the rest of our lives.’ A lot of people were late getting back into tailored [looks]. People want to play dress up and express themselves and everybody wants an Iris Apfel moment. We just celebrated her 101st birthday.”

Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and designer houses are advertising more polished looks for fall in an attempt to reverse the casualization tidal wave that washed across the U.S. In the summer of 2020, 60 percent of Americans reported that sweatpants or athleisure were their WFH wardrobe and only 6 percent were wearing business attire, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resources Management.

The global secondhand market has also been growing, and is expected to more than double by 2026, reaching $82 billion, according to the online resale platform ThredUp.

“So many people want to own fashion as art that is one-of-a-kind,” Silver said of the interest in Marni archival items. A couple dozen pieces will be up-for-grabs and some significant fashion philanthropists (“aka the owners not the loaners,” per Silver) will be vying for the pre-worn styles.

The Sept. 7 two-hour sale has been scheduled to dovetail into their datebooks. Marni fans are expected to beeline it to the Upper East Side store after the FIT Couture Council luncheon across the park at Lincoln Center honoring Dior’s creative director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Pleased with the response to a monthlong pop-up at Sage & Madison in Sag Harbor, Silver is considering a three-month pop-up next summer in the Hamptons. ”We had a secret pop-up that was the destination for fashion lovers, who don’t want to be [fashion] victims. It kind of ties into the Marni project because this is all about one-of-a-kind. As things become more accessible in luxury, these brands have to react and provide something discriminating for their clients, who want something that no one else has,” Silver said.

As celebrities have become more open to wearing luxury items from seasons past, luxury brands are opening up their archives so that a standout piece can be carried over to make a statement the next year, he said. Julia Roberts’ black-and-white vintage Valentino gown at the 2001 Oscars, and more recently Cate Blanchett’s panache for recycling her red-carpet looks, have contributed to the consumers’ acceptance of pre-worn, as well as the pandemic-induced interest in being more environmentally conscious.

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