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Michael Michalsky Plans Fashion, Lifestyle Label

Michael Michalsky, creative director of MCM, plans to launch his own fashion and lifestyle label in January 2007 for fall-winter 2007-2008 with three separate brands: Michalsky, Michamic and Planet M.

BERLIN — Michael Michalsky, creative director of MCM, plans to launch his own fashion and lifestyle label in January 2007 for fall-winter 2007-2008 with three separate brands: Michalsky, Michamic and Planet M.

Michalsky also is developing a line of young fashion basics to bow at the same time in cooperation with Tchibo, the Ger­man coffee manufacturer and retail powerhouse that sells assortments of products that change weekly in 60,000 points of sale as well as an Internet shop.

Michalsky, the former Adidas creative director, has partnered with Markus Höfels, the private equity investor who is a founding partner of Proenza Schouler. Offices for Michalsky Holding GmbH have been opened in the tony Gendarmenmarkt here, and an international team of 15 to 20 people is expected to be on board by the end of the year.

Michalsky will be positioned in the high fashion sector, whereas Michamic will address active sportswear and Planet M will do jeans. All collections will be for men and women, and plans call for them to be produced in Italy.

“When you look at how people on the street really dress or buy today, one label is not enough to be believable [in each category],” Michalsky said during a news conference at the Premium fashion fair here this month. “So we decided to cover the three product segments that people always have on and which therefore have a long future.”

Each collection will offer about 60 to 70 styles. Although generally geared to separate distribution channels, they are intended to complement each other so pieces can be mixed.

“There aren’t many retail doors where all three will be offered, though we’d like it,” Michalsky said. While the Tchibo project is separate, he said the “aesthetic will fit in with the three labels we’re launching.”

Höfels, who is in charge of the business end, wouldn’t talk numbers, but said “starting with three labels, it can’t be small. We’re starting quite big.” Nor will this be a quiet launch, he added, though he didn’t discuss details.

The Michalsky collection might potentially fill in some of the holes left by Helmut Lang or Jil Sander, or go head-to-head with some products from Boss, Michalsky suggested. Michamic is “designer-y sport, so of course we’re up against the big boys. And Planet M is just an alternative for people who wear other brands,” he said, declining to identify Planet M’s price positioning.

The designer will create three separate logos. “We’re thinking of the future and strategic partnerships.” he said. “I’m very impressed by how Americans do this kind of business. I love the Seventh Avenue approach. It’s great marketing.”

Although still in the developmental stage, a Michalsky beauty range is in the works in partnership with the Ham­burg-based natural skin care producer, Santaverde. “They have their own aloe vera plantations in Spain, and it’s all 100 percent organic,” he explained. “I believe ecological beauty products are the luxury products of the future.”