HE FOR SHE: Junya Watanabe’s year-old men’s wear line is being reinterpreted for women. “It’s a new collection, not just a size-down,” Adrian Joffe, managing director of Comme des Garçons, said. “It’ll be based on the Junya Watanabe Man concept, but for women.” The collection, still unnamed, will debut for spring 2003 retailing, initially in Japan only. Watanabe, a protégé of Rei Kawakubo, is best known for his avant-garde and whimsical women’s collection. By contrast, his men’s wear is more classic-with-a-twist, but it has quickly won a cult following. Watanabe’s first two men’s collections, in collaboration with Levi’s, were based on jeans and shirts printed with quirky sayings and poetry excerpts. His spring 2003 men’s collection, shown in Paris last June, was a mix of motocross and Hawaii.
FIRST SERVE: Steffi Graf may have left competitive tennis behind for good, but she is hoping that her new accessories venture will be an ace. The former tennis champion — the last woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in one year — launched a collection of handbags and travel goods with three groups, Basic, Modern and Travel. “The idea of designing my own collection came from the constant travel in my life,” said Graf, who now lives in Las Vegas with her husband, Andre Agassi. “I’ve carried many different bags, but most couldn’t bring together all the things I expect.” The collection will hit retail in October. It’s made by German leather-goods firm Goldpfeil and priced from about $37 to $537.
This story first appeared in the August 21, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.