It's been a while since Julie Haus and Jason Alkire have shown at New York Fashion Week. The husband and wife duo hit the tents six years ago when they debuted Julie Haus' contemporary eponymous line. They returned to the tents this week to present their new designer line, Haus Alkire, for which they won an Ecco Domini fashion foundation award. Haus and Alkire said showing this time around felt a lot less frantic. Alkire said they got 4 1/2 hours of sleep, which for them, is a normal good night's sleep (eek). The sponsorships that came with the Ecco Domini win----from make up to PR--helped a lot. But there was still a freak out before show time. "One of the models couldn't get her shoes on," Haus said. "It was a moment of full on panic--but that was the only moment we had." As for the clothes, Haus Alkire focuses on prints, which Alkire creates using his own photography.
A few days ago Julie Haus-Alkire opened the doors of her first brick-and-mortar store on 458 Broome St. (between Greene and Mercer Sts.). Just 45 minutes later, she had sold over $1,000 worth of merchandise. Texas native Haus-Alkire, who designs her eponymous line, Julie Haus, as well as a diffusion line, J/J by Julie Haus, is taking her early sale as a good sign. "It feels like people are buying," says Haus-Alkire, "at least key investment pieces." She gives a lot of credit to the location. "This area is shifting," says Haus. "Three years ago, SoHo was still all about big brand stores and now with Isabel Marant down the street, VPL moving in, and Alexander Wang, I just feel lucky to have that walk-by traffic." Of course, her fall collection--drapey tops and dresses and cropped blazers with thick braided knit details--should drive traffic as well.
Last week I stopped by Julie Haus's showroom in the Garment District to check out her resort collection. While the line boasts the sweet feminine separates we've come to expect from Haus - breezy silk tops with zipper detailing and adorable pleat-front shorts - this collection's got a bit of edge. Prints are bold, graphic and even psychadellic. Dresses are slouchy and painstakingly draped and pleated. Blazers are embellished with grommets and sprockets.