Cushnie et Ochs is expanding beyond its ready-to-wear, branching into activewear with a collection for Bandier and a limited-edition jewelry collection designed by Pamela Love. The jewelry will be available for pre-order on Monday, while the Bandier project will launch May 25 at Bandier’s five stores in New York and Dallas, and the company’s e-commerce shop, which ships globally.
Branching into activewear isn’t a quantum leap for designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, whose collection is defined by body-con dressing. The Bandier line includes 10 performance pieces — three leggings, three bra tops, two tank tops, a track pant and a jacket — made from an eight-way stretch fabric. The collection is being billed as luxury activewear, and includes double-face techniques as well as laser cut, cut-out details that tie back to Cushnie et Ochs ready-to-wear.
“The realization that prompted this collaboration is that both Bandier and Cushnie et Ochs are dressing the same woman — a woman who now demands much more from her wardrobe,” said Bandier founder Jennifer Bandier. “Carly and Michelle, with their exceptional grasp of the female form, are the perfect partners to help move activewear into the fashion world.”
Last year, Cushnie and Ochs sold a minority stake in their business to Farol Asset Management and a group of fashion insiders, including Gary Wassner, who is chief executive officer of industry factor Hilldun, and made a personal investment. As part of the transaction, Peter Arnold was installed as chief executive officer. At the time, Cushnie and Ochs said that they planned to use the funds to expand their brand and raise its profile. The Bandier and Love projects are the two most notable steps in that direction yet.