In the Spotlight: Wooster + Lardini

Lardini tapped Nick Wooster, the former men’s fashion director for Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, as a consultant.

NAME: Wooster + Lardini

This story first appeared in the June 12, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

BACKGROUND: In a quest to expand its presence in the U.S., Lardini, a family-owned Italian tailored clothing brand, last year tapped Nick Wooster, the former men’s fashion director for Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, as a consultant. The firm subsequently asked Wooster to design a capsule collection for spring, offering what creative director Luigi Lardini calls “new, refined products.”

AESTHETIC: Wooster said the collection is designed to be imperfect. “Because of Lardini’s unparalleled ability to make perfect garments, I wanted to start from the idea of something imperfect,” he said. “Everything in Wooster + Lardini is washed and not pressed. This was very important to me. I wanted to see the imperfection.” That followed through into the silhouettes. Wooster said he started with classic shapes but “played around with the proportions of the bottoms.”

KEY ITEMS: The root of the 60-piece collection will be in tailored pieces with a sprinkling of sportswear elements. There are jackets, pants, shirts, neckwear and shoes in 10 fabrics including classics such as patchwork, Prince of Wales, houndstooth and seersucker. There’s also a summer tuxedo. Prices have not yet been determined. “My favorite shorts are pleated,” Wooster said. “After living through pleated pants in the Seventies and Eighties, I vowed I would never wear pleats again. It’s now clear to me: never say never.”

DISTRIBUTION: Lardini said he hopes the line will allow the company to enter the U.S. market and will also be offered to retailers in Italy and Japan. In America, Wooster will serve as the ambassador, and the collection, along with Lardini’s other lines, will be on display in the M5 showroom in New York. “I think that this capsule will be successful, especially in unconventional, not too classic stores,” Lardini said, adding that it targets a young audience. “Nick is a king of social networks and there are so many young men who want to dress like Nick.” Wooster has an active social media presence with more than 210,000 followers on Instagram.