PARIS — Lacoste has selected British industrial designer Michael Young as the guest designer for its second annual Holiday Collector’s Series, for which the brand selects someone outside the fashion world to reinterpret its iconic polo shirt.
Young is an influential furniture designer whose works have been acquired by some of the world’s leading design museums. He is best known for his brightly colored, curvy, humorous, sometimes cartoonish plastic furniture. Before opening his own design studio he spent four years working for Tom Dixon, who was Lacoste’s guest designer last year. Young said the collaboration with Lacoste came about through his friendship with John Storey, who heads the brand’s global PR.
“I never thought I’d have the right knowledge to work with clothing, but I would do it again, for sure,” Young told DNR on a phone call from Hong Kong, where he is currently based and has recently designed a new bicycle for Giant, barwear for Schweppes Tonic and a line of jewelry for Georg Jensen. “I had an amazing experience working with the factories, trying other concepts before we decided on one.”
Young is a big fan of plastic, and has a collection of latex-coated fabric gardening gloves from Japan. He decided to apply the same technical process to the polo project. “I got to try a process I was always interested in,” he said.
Rather than a standard silkscreen printing process, heat-activated ink is applied directly to the piqué cotton in a crocodile-scale pattern, then thickens into a plastic blister, lending a futuristic texture. Available in seven colors for men and women, the limited-edition Plastic Polo is packaged in a keepsake plastic tray and will retail for $145, starting in November.
An extra-limited version with metallic leafing on the plastic will be $240. They will be available from October at shops including Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Isetan in Tokyo.
Lacoste will host a party to introduce Young to fashion editors during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris on July 1.