London Fog will be ramping up its fashion quota this fall, thanks to the brand’s first designer collaborations with Chris Benz, Cynthia Rowley and Badgley Mischka.
This story first appeared in the February 7, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Each has pulled together a capsule collection — a first for the 80-plus-year-old brand — that will make its debut in stores in August. Rowley, for example, has created a women’s trenchcoat, a girls’ trenchcoat and an umbrella.
The London Fog collaboration is one of the projects Benz has been working on while taking a break from this New York Fashion Week. His studio was recently photographed and featured on the Web site One Kings Lane. For London Fog, he designed a coat, rain boots and an umbrella for women, as well as a men’s coat. Benz plans to support a few designer friends at their respective shows, but Monday he will be off to Paris for Première Vision.
“While everyone else is busy with the shows, we’re getting started on spring 2014,” he said. “It’s been really great to be able to reflect a little bit creatively and to think about where your business is going. There is something to be said for having an ‘Eat Pray Love’ kind of moment. We’ve been asking ourselves, ‘What do we really love about the brand? Where is the company going?’ We’re super-excited to get back to work and to go to Paris.”
London Fog is making its designer goods relatively affordable, with retail prices ranging from $50 for an umbrella to $275 for outerwear. The collection will be sold in specialty and department stores, as well as through the outerwear brand’s Web site and each designer’s respective site.
Badgley Mischka has created a coat, rain boots and luggage for women, as well as a girls’ poncho. Aside from having the same parent company, Iconix, Mark Badgley said of London Fog, “We grew up with it, especially growing up in Oregon, where it rains practically every day of the year. It’s always been an iconic brand.”
One of the advantages of working with London Fog is that the company has the technical aspects of outerwear down pat, which freed up Badgley and James Mischka to focus on the fashion, Mischka said. Designing a girls’ coat (and one “with a little dash of Sherlock Holmes”) was new territory but not a path they plan to follow anytime soon, Badgley said.
Dari Marder, chief marketing officer of the Iconix Brand Group, which owns London Fog and Badgley Mischka, among other labels, said, “Giving these amazing designers the freedom to reimagine the classic trench, as well as other staples items that London Fog is known for, is exciting not only for them but for us as well.”