By  on September 2, 2008

Catherine Malandrino came to New York from her native France 13 years ago, fell in love with her future husband and business partner, Bernard Aidan, and launched her own collection, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this season. This fall — with a wink to the milestone — Malandrino is reissuing the iconic flag dress that put her on the fashion map, publishing a book with Assouline on her 10-year career and unveiling a new retail concept — a 6,000-square-foot Catherine Malandrino Maison in Los Angeles that features a boutique, library, cafe and garden.

WWD caught up with the designer between two fittings.



WWD: What does the 10-year anniversary mean to you?
Catherine Malandrino: I feel the 10 years mean only a first chapter of a long story.


WWD: Looking back, what were some highlights?
C.M.: The first show was a great moment. It was the flag collection. I met with Madonna because she wanted to wear the collection onstage, which right away put me on the map. Another show I liked was the Hallelujah collection at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. I also loved my Urban Queen show with Mary J. Blige singing at the end. And certainly, La Colombe, which reminded me of all my moments of happiness in the South of France.

WWD: What was the lowest point?
C.M.: It was both an emotional low point and a high point. The flag collection happened to be in the window of Bergdorf Goodman on Sept. 11. For me, it was an amazing start, but suddenly the world was collapsing. It was the most intense and painful moment. I felt very strange and it took me a while. It was the beginning of the Catherine Malandrino brand, with a lot of emotion. I felt torn.

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