Derek Lam may have spent the summer in New York, but his thoughts were all about Brazil.
The designer drew from a May visit to Rio de Janeiro for his limited-edition DesigNation collection for Kohl’s Department Stores. The fact that it rained during his springtime stay there with a development team proved to be fortuitous.
“That was a blessing in disguise. We didn’t get stuck on the beach for days looking at all the bare bodies. I went to all the museums and saw the botanical gardens. I walked around Leblon where all the stores are,” he said. “And we ate a lot.”
Immersive as that visit was, Lam said the memory of the country had stayed with him from two prior trips he had taken on his own. So when Kohl’s approached him about doing an exclusive line inspired by an international destination, he knew just which one. “I really love the city. The people are wonderful and the setting is amazing,” said the designer.
“What I do [with my own collection] is a little more cerebral. I usually think about books, art and architecture,” he said. “Here, it was just appealing to focus on a specific destination. This was a nice departure for me.”
Lam still managed to work in some artistic references, with midcentury graphic artists like Hélio Oiticica providing inspiration for a surfwear-type print. That design was used for a fitted T-shirt dress with a dropped shoulder. Lam also reimagined the city’s sensual side as well as its dense, damp jungle. The deep-saturated color palette includes three stories — jungle green, aquamarine and a yellow, nude and orange sorbet combo. A multicolored swim dress worn with a black georgette trouser skirt is one of his favorite looks. “I imagined a woman from Rio going to the beach in the morning, meeting friends for lunch and having drinks at the end of the day — with maybe a little work in between,” he said.
Retailing from $36 to $98, the dresses, skirts, pants, capris, shorts, tank tops, swimwear and outerwear will be carried at Kohl’s and available on its Web site in April and May. Narciso Rodriguez will lead off the DesigNation initiative with a collection that makes its debut Nov. 7.
Lam said, “I really believe that as a designer, now we can do different things. Accessibility is no longer the opposite of luxury,” noting that everything is machine washable and is a selection of organic fabrics, too. The collaboration allowed Lam to try his hand at swimwear and the result was 15 styles. With Li & Fung’s Regatta handling production, Lam said he had the luxury of focusing on design.
“Our customers expect incredible merchandise at an exceptional value and we are confident that the newest DesigNation collection from Derek Lam will exceed our shoppers’ expectations,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Lam’s DesigNation collection isn’t his only new project: His Schwartz & Benjamin-licensed footwear line is launching for spring and he designed the Green Room for this past weekend’s Emmys. Now Lam will be focusing on fall 2013 for his own collection.
“One of the things I had wanted to do was to open up my calendar a bit, but then these wonderful projects came up…What is the expression? ‘When it rains, it pours?’” he said. “Now I have got to get down and dirty to get my fall collection done.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion