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.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)