NEW YORK — Rena Lange is the latest brand eager to tap into the impact of celebrity and the red carpet on fashion.
Starting with the pre-fall 2012 collection, Karsten Fielitz, who took over as creative director at the German label six months ago, is collaborating with Los Angeles-based costume designer and celebrity stylist Jennifer Rade, who has made her mark in Hollywood working on television shows and commercials, as well as styling such high-profile clients as Pink, Cher and Angelina Jolie.
The aim is to expand the brand’s eveningwear assortment, which in turn could cater to the red carpet and thus increase the profile of the brand worldwide, particularly in the U.S., where it currently has 60 points of sale.
Tracy Welch, president of Rena Lange (USA), connected with Rade through a mutual acquaintance last May, and in their first meeting, she noticed how Rade put much emphasis on the construction of garments and the fabric choices — hallmarks of the brand, which had its origins in 1916 when Martha Lange opened a lingerie store in Munich’s Theatinerstrasse.
“I have always been a fan of the brand and like its European sensitivity, but they don’t have a huge U.S. presence,” Rade said. “Tracy approached me on working specifically on gowns and cocktail dresses for the red carpet.
“I feel there is huge potential,” Rade added. “The collection is already so strong.”
The feeling appears to be mutual, and sitting in Rena Lange’s Meatpacking District showroom with Fielitz last week, the duo appears to have a strong rapport.
“I love her work and respect her,” Fielitz said. “I think she is a great stylist.
“I think the perception of the brand in America has been quite different than Europe or Japan,” added Fielitz.
In Europe, the evening elements of the brand are more prominent, whereas in the U.S. it has been lesser known for those fields. “We have the stores asking for it,” Welch said. “Jennifer brings an American sensibility to the picture and will help bring that awareness.”
It’s not the only initiative that will likely increase Rena Lange’s profile Stateside. The company just launched an online shop at renalange.com, and on Sept. 8 it is planning to stage a Fashion’s Night Out event at its showroom with Buccellati, co-hosted by Rade and Lucrezia Buccellati.
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