LONDON — Le Chameau, the rubber boots and outerwear brand from France, is striding into fashion and luxury territory with help from Marc Newson, Fabien Baron and Charlotte Stockdale.
The company, founded in 1927 as a saddler and boot maker, and which still makes natural rubber boots in its factory in Normandy, will launch two new boot styles for spring, in a palette of colors including Yves Klein blue, burnt orange and army green.
The company will continue to make its traditional boots — beloved of clients ranging from the Duchess of Cambridge to the fishermen of Brittany. Its fashion offer will launch with a capsule collection of two styles and six colors set to land in stores in January.
“When I visited the factory, the first company I thought of was John Lobb,” said Newson, the award-winning industrial designer whose title is creative director, referring to the British company that hand makes its footwear. “Le Chameau boots are made in France from natural rubber, and we have no intention of changing that, or of moving production to China. With the new collection, we’ve done nothing to hinder how the product works or how it is made.”
The boots are hand-shaped to fit the contours of the foot, ankle and calf and 150 operations are used to make each pair, according to the company. Bespoke linings — such as calfskin leather — are selected according to function.
Newson is working alongside Stockdale, a fashion stylist — and his wife — on product development, and with Baron on branding and packaging.
One of the new women’s models is the Paris, which comes in long and short versions. It has a white wedge heel, and a sole that provides traction on wet, flat surfaces, much like a fisherman’s boot. The Vierzon is based on one of Le Chameau’s most popular styles and is geared more toward country life with a buckled calf and grooves on the sole.
The new models are lined in either leather or jersey, with the former costing 220 pounds, or $327, and the latter 120 pounds, or $179.
Le Chameau’s traditional models will continue to be sold in specialty stores, while the newer boots will be sold through fashion retailers. “There is no reason why the two trajectories of the business cannot exist in parallel,” Newson said.
Le Chameau plans to launch more new styles for fall, and will also begin to develop its outerwear collection into a more luxury offering. The company plans to unveil a few pieces for the fall season.
Baron has been working on the branding and packaging, the latter of which is graphite gray. A company spokeswoman said there are no plans to advertise for the next 18 months, although Baron will be creating films for the Web that tell the story of the brand. The company will also launch a new Web site to coincide with the launch of its new fashion products.
Le Chameau was purchased last year by the London-based Marwyn Management Partners from the French-based company Lafuma. MMP is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and Le Chameau is the company’s first luxury acquisition.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)