Rodarte just took us unawares by announcing its decision to skip the upcoming New York Fashion Week. Although not seeing Rodarte among the many fashion houses that we automatically associate with New York Fashion Week will surely make many scratch their heads in the months to come, Rodarte’s move should be regarded more as a sort of inspiring (r)evolution rather than a mere dropout from the industry’s busy scenes.
As Rodarte’s creative directors Kate and Laura Mulleavy have also announced, the Los Angeles-based fashion house is instead hosting private presentations at Paris Fashion Week in January and July, thus aligning with the Paris Couture Week’s more intimate schedules (a choice that also Vetements made).
“We’re huge fans of the city and huge fans of what fashion means in Paris,” she said. “On top of that, the schedule does allow for us to have earlier deliveries. We’re a small business, but we’re an independent business,” Laura Mulleavy told the Business of Fashion, explaining how the vast majority of Rodarte’s revenue is still generated from both their collaborations (such as those with & Other Stories and Target), and ready-to-wear proposals.
“The selling period is the key issue,” she continued. “At our company, our number-one goal is always to create the beautiful, detail-oriented clothing that people desire from our brand. We want to feed our product into the marketplace on an earlier delivery schedule.”
To further implement their revenue and to better satisfy their customers’ thirst for Rodarte-approved fashions, the Mulleavy sisters also decided to add a third collection, a sort of resort line, to their yearly roster. “I know people love to talk about our t-shirts, but it’s a small portion of what we do. Since the main revenue is the runway collection, it’s important to have that third presence,” Laura Mulleavy continued.
Rodarte’s third line, which according to Laura will be mainly filled with “lifestyle pieces” (which makes us inevitably curious), is also one of the designer duo’s most significant declarations of intent, as it reveals the sisters will never limit themselves when it comes to fashion. “I don’t know if it’s good for people to believe success is only growth and expansion if they don’t have a solid understanding of what they can offer. It’s something to find out first, because you just get lost. We try to do what is true to us.”
Although Rodarte’s future appears to be bright, we must say that of New York Fashion Week doesn’t. Along with Rodarte, labels such as Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Zoe and Tommy Hilfiger, are skipping New York’s busy schedules favoring those of Los Angeles, which at this point may be regarded as one of the industry’s leading fashion capitals.
Photo courtesy of Vogue