PARIS — Christophe Lemaire, the creative director of Lacoste, is resurrecting his eponymous label, which he suspended three years ago to concentrate on reviving the iconic French sportswear brand.
Lemaire said he would feature the first designs of the reborn label in a shop slated to open in Paris in October. A second shop, in Tokyo, is to launch in December.
The brand — to be called Lemaire — will feature both men’s and women’s designs and will be geared to an “urban dandy,” with a strong concentration on unisex styles and clothes that can be worn at home and on the street, he said.
The venture, which will begin wholesaling early next year, will be launched in partnership with Avant, a fashion group based in Kobe, Japan.
Known for streetwise designs with a Parisian flair, Lemaire said the clothes, to be produced in Japan, would be priced at the contemporary level as part of an attempt to reach a wider audience.
“Before, I felt captive to the designer price point,” he said. “Clothes that are too expensive run contrary to my design philosophy. I’ve always wanted to make clothes with a strong point of view but at an intelligent price.”
He said a pair of jeans would retail at around 150 euros, or $187; shirts would cost about 120 euros, or $150, and a cashmere sweater would run about 280 euros, or $350.
French architect Franklin Azzi, who designed a boutique that looked like a bunker in Tokyo for French contemporary designer Bali Barret, has been hired for the Paris boutique, which Lemaire said will be located on the Rue de Poitou in a former pharmacy.
“The concept is chic postmodern,” he said. “The ambiance and the decoration will be more like a house than a boutique.”
In that spirit, he said, a room of the 1,000-square-foot space will be dedicated to music, one of Lemaire’s long-standing passions, with a wall of speakers and a selection of records.