BERLIN — Brian Rennie is stepping down as creative director and chief creative officer of German women’s wear brand Basler.
“After 28 years of working for other companies, I’m finally becoming self-employed,” said the 51-year-old designer, who also has worked for Escada and Gant. His plans call for a relocation to Scotland, though he won’t completely be severing ties with the Goldbach-based brand: He will continue to design Basler Gold Label, the company’s most fashion-oriented collection, as well as continuing some PR and celebrity work for Basler “on a freelance basis.”
He is also considering the launch of a signature Brian Rennie collection. “We have some interest from investors but there’s nothing definite. It’s one avenue I’m exploring,” he said, adding there are many options to consider. “At Gant, I loved doing men’s wear, home and kids wear, and over the years I’ve been asked to do [lines] for TV. We’ll see what comes up.”
Longstanding Basler designer associates will be responsible for the remaining Basler lines: Ina Karkossa for the Pink Label coordinates collection as well as the more casual White Label, and Gudrun Brenk for the outdoor collection. Both will report to Basler chief executive officer Reiner Unkel.
Rennie instituted a major fashion shift at the specialist in apparel for the 50 and over age group, which he joined in March 2011, sending Hotpants and sequins down a runway formerly reserved for navy blazers and classic coordinates. The move remains controversial in the company’s home market, but Rennie told WWD earlier this month that the more modern looks have been “on fire” at Bloomingdale's, for example, as well as in Russia. In the German-speaking market, Basler’s outdoor styles currently generate the highest turnover.
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