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PARIS — Rei Kawakubo has a new collaboration up her sleeve, this time with French luxury brand Hermès. The Comme des Garçons designer has created two limited-edition collections of Hermès’ mythical silk carré scarves, dubbed Comme des Carrés.
This story first appeared in the November 27, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I have always had an immense respect for Hermès’ tradition and artisanal know-how,” Kawakubo stated.
“During this joint project, rather than being guided by the idea of the scarf as it is worn, I became interested instead in the beautiful ‘artworks’ that the designs on Hermès carrés represent, and I sought to change them by adding elements. By combining them with abstract images, we have transformed the carré and created a unique object,” she added.
The first collection, called Noir et Blanc, will be sold exclusively in Comme des Garçons stores in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood, New York and Paris. It will feature five scarves with abstract black-and-white designs.
The second, Couleur, will be a line of six colorful scarves offered in Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market stores in London and Tokyo. The collection will be “hybrid,” Hermès stated, “rewriting the traditional narratives of the carré” and including geometric elements like giant patchwork, Vichy checks and shirt stripes.
Both collections will hit stores in early February, Hermès said. The scarves in the Noir et Blanc collection will be priced at around 380 euros, or $493 at current exchange, while those in the Couleur line will be positioned between 380 euros and 1,600 euros, or $2,076.
A pioneer in product and retail collaborations, Kawakubo has collaborated on fashions with Azzedine Alaïa, Louis Vuitton, Speedo, Paco Rabanne, Fred Perry, Stephen Jones, Moncler, H&M and Peggy Moffitt, the keeper of the design legacy of Rudi Gernreich.
She has also designed products using the Beatles name and logo, the cartoons of Matt Groening, and applied her prints to computer covers sold in Apple shops.
“I am always thinking that some interesting possibility, some accidental synergy could occur in a collaboration, and people seem to like it,” she told WWD in a recent interview.