LONDON — Clements Ribeiro will unveil a full ready-to-wear collection, its first since spring 2006, during London Fashion Week, which kicks off today.
The collection comes on the heels of Clements Ribeiro’s cashmere capsule collections, which have been selling well at stores including Barneys New York, Liberty, Colette and Dover Street Market for the past two seasons.
“We always wanted to get back to ready-to-wear, and we’ve built this collection around the cashmere,” said Inacio Ribeiro, who designs with his wife, Suzanne Clements.
He said they were also looking to open a combined studio space and retail store in their London neighborhood, Bayswater, by early next year. Ribeiro said they want “to re-connect with and reach out to our clients in a way that the big brands can’t.”
For the past two seasons, the two have been creating cashmere sweaters with adornments such as vintage jet, sequins and lace, grosgrain ribbons, frogging and pearls. The cashmere yarn is also vintage and has been sourced from Scottish mills.
Their fall collection features cashmere and angora blend coats; two-, three-, and four-ply cashmere knits, and silk dresses with adornments such as cameo or crystal buttons, grosgrain epaulets and pearl-encrusted zips. Retail prices start at about 450 pounds, or $640, for a cashmere top.
“We think there is a lot of demand out there for craftsmanship and a more artisanal product, something unique,” he said.
Ribeiro said the two are currently in talks with potential investors, but the plan is to remain small and evolve slowly. He said no runway shows are planned, and for the moment the couple will sell out of their homes in London and Paris.
“We are in no hurry, and we want to move along with the market,” said Ribeiro. He added the couple also planned to launch a limited edition collection of cashmere knits that would be sold in July for delivery in September, as well as a footwear collection.
The two have been restructuring their operations since putting their company into voluntary liquidation in 2005 and are self-financed. The couple debuted their label in the Nineties and their collection rapidly became one of the brightest lights of London Fashion Week, known for its mixing of patterns in rtw and innovative cashmere knitwear designs, which helped spark the trend toward color block intarsias.
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