Roland Mouret wants to dress the partners of his clientele. And himself.
This story first appeared in the December 7, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer will introduce a 15-piece men’s collection of tailored clothing and separates in January, Mouret said Wednesday during his first appearance at Neiman Marcus’ downtown Dallas flagship.
“A lot of my customers have said, ‘When are you going to do something for men?’” he said. “It’s subtle dressing. It’s something that is quite close to my heart.”
Mouret figures his female clientele will be the best ambassadors for the men’s wear, and the plan is to place the collection in 10 or 15 of his women’s accounts and slowly grow the business.
Wearing a silk and wool birds-eye suit from the collection, Mouret explained, “There is a moment in my life that I didn’t find at all what I really wanted to wear. It may be pretentious, but I wanted to have texture, the right shoulder line, I wanted to find a suit where I don’t feel like a business man inside it.”
He will introduce the line in his Paris showroom in January.
“I don’t want to do catwalk because as much as I like women on the catwalk, I don’t like men,” Mouret said. “Women walk, men just don’t get it.”
Prices will fall between Martin Margiela and Bottega Veneta, he said — roughly $1,600 to $3,800 for a suit.
The RM by Roland Mouret women’s collection of dresses and tunics has had the fastest sell-through of European designer collections at Neiman Marcus this fall, noted Hila Ekelman, couture buyer.
“The prices are very good — most dresses are under $2,000,” Ekelman noted.
Neiman’s carries RM in six doors — Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Coral Gables, Fla., and King of Prussia, Pa. Mouret will also visit Coral Gables and San Francisco this week.
In Dallas, social stalwart Nancy Rogers, whose husband, Richard, is chairman of Mary Kay Cosmetics, hosted a lunch for Mouret and about 20 women in the second floor “couture” salon at the store.
Mouret’s sales volume is expected to hit 5 million pounds, or $8.3 million, this year, said Michelle Mahlke, the company’s general manager. A projection hasn’t been set yet for the men’s wear because it is starting small, she added.
Men’s wear is the first piece in a series of categories he’s working on, Mouret said, adding he expects to begin opening his own stores within three years. French by birth, Mouret is based in London and backed by Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment.