In yet another attempt to satisfy our insatiable wardrobe needs for fashion on the quick, Macy’s and Alberta Ferretti have teamed up for the next designer collaboration in the department chain’s Impulse line. After releasing collaboration lines with Karl Largerfeld, Matthew Williamson, Giambattista Valli, and most recently, Doo.Ri, the mega-retailer has joined forces with the Italian designer to create 30 pieces inspired by the Amalfi Coast. Priced from $49 to $119, the La Dolce Vita-style feminine and bright dresses in delicate chiffon fabrications, peasant blouses, garden-party looks, abstract floral prints, and the little bit of knitwear, would easily cover a spring party season.
The recession has forced fashion to change in more affordable ways. Kate Middleton wears dresses from thrift stores and Michelle Obama is a devotee of J. Crew. Socialites in head-to-toe couture no longer receive the highest praise. Instead,those who mix high and low-end brands to create unique, stylish looks are getting the attention. And the more ever-present these designer collaborations become, the more they are celebrated as the post-recessional triumph of accessible style over the excess extravagance of luxury goods.
However, translating a designer’s refined aesthetic to please the mass-market, while at the same time staying true to their sensibility, is a difficult task. You have to keep the people who expect Alberta Ferretti, just at one-third of the price. And then there’s the average consumer, who might think Ferretti is a sports car. Ensuring both markets are intrigued enough to buy the product is a marketing and design coup.
Ferretti said that her collection for Macy’s grew from the same sense of subtle glamour that is typical of her famed eveningwear designs, just with a twist that mixes aspiration with accessibility in a tricky balancing act. “I gave the collection my sense of style, emphasizing color and fantasy without ever losing the idea of ‘lightness’. It was not by chance that the advertising campaign was shot in Positano with the radiant Mariacarla Boscono by the sensual and spiritual photographer Ellen Von Unwerth,” Ferretti told The Huffington Post, citing her know-how of what it takes to create a successful designer collaboration.
The fact that the Ferretti collection will only be in 185 Macy’s locations, compared to 220 with previous Macy Impulse capsule collections, is another example. Martine Reardon, Macy’s executive vice president of marketing told WWD, “With the omni-channel business really rising, we may not always have to have every single item in every store. We are trying to understand where these collaborations work very well, and where it’s not working so well, but in each case we always want to make sure that we are giving solutions to customers”.
Alberta Ferretti for Macy’s Impulse will be sold exclusively at Macy’s for 10 weeks starting April 17.