By  on July 24, 2007

NEW YORK — Since launching his label in 2001, Thom Browne has been quietly custom-making pieces for women from his Meatpacking District atelier here. Now the men's wear designer is making a serious run at women's ready-to-wear.Browne put together a collection of 25 pieces for women under his namesake moniker that will be available at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Jeffrey New York and Colette in Paris this fall. Aesthetically, the line is in the spirit of Browne's men's wear with his signature details such as short, shrunken jackets and trousers that fall just above the ankle. It will also include coats, oxford shirts and cardigans. Suits and coats are priced around $4,000 at retail, sweaters, $1,500, and shirts, $400, which is in line with the men's wear.Browne became energized for women's while creating Brooks Brothers' Black Fleece collection, which he guest designs. He unveiled his first Black Fleece women's pieces last March, featuring tailored suits, pleated dresses, plaid knits and men's wear-inspired topper coats. "I have seen private female customers really from the beginning," he said. "The project with Brooks Bros. pushed me to do it for myself, but I have been wanting to do it for a long time."Browne is starting with a capsule launch and hopes to organically evolve it into a full collection over the next two season. "I wanted to start introducing [women's], but in a way so that it's something that people found," he said.Since starting his namesake business, Browne has arguably become an influential men's wear designer by changing the suit silhouette. He has been showing his collections in New York, but is mulling a move to the Paris men's wear shows in the next two seasons. Browne, who didn't disclose sales projections, said he could envision his women's line on the runway "some day." "I love seeing girls in my stuff," he said. "It's very different from men's, but I am looking at it very similarly. I am having a good time with it."

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