“Halston is Halston. Anything that goes wrong can be fixed,” says the brand’s latest CEO, Ben Malka, in today’s WWD. He landed at Halston last year, after ten spent at BCBG, and relocated the company to the same LA studio in which Mad Men is filmed—but he’ll get to celebrity later.
For now, the trade paper reports that Malka, who’s been busy assembling a team of executives and designers, can’t wait to present the revamped Halston Heritage collection to buyers in New York this week. The collection’s based in neutral colors, with tailored wool pants, work appropriate shift dresses and a one shouldered evening gown that evokes the original designer’s name. Malka plans on opening at least five standalone Halston Heritage stores in the United States by the end of the this year.
As for the runway collection, it will bow at New York Fashion Week next year and Malka’s intent on keeping the two very separate. “Halston [runway] is about innovation in technique and fabric,” he said. “It’s about exclusivity and luxury. Heritage is about making the brand more accessible using timeless codes like fluidity and tailoring.”
Of course, the big question is who will design said runway collection? Marios Schwab, the British designer in charge of ready-to-wear during the latter part of Harvey Weinstein’s reign, was a critical success, if not commercial, and though Malka likes celebrities—”Halston was one of the pioneers of marrying fashion and celebrity. I value that enormously”—he sounds too smart to make a designer out of the latest starlet.