By  on June 25, 2009

With the current market’s quest for sustainable products mingled with an undercurrent of nostalgia for the past—when things felt simpler—it’s no surprise that vintage fashion has come back as a major influence in today’s market. Even Stefano Pilati just gave his nod to all things vintage—and sustainable—with a special Yves Saint Laurent New Vintage collection he designed for Barneys New York. It features clothing made of fabrics from the Yves Saint Laurent archives over the past 10 years, and serves as a way to “start a dialogue with the market using known codes and a common language that are reassuring and familiar,” according to Pilati. Today, vintage is an important part of the fashion lexicon, especially for young people. “You can feel the same thing happening [today] as in the Sixties,” says Jean Bousquet, Cacharel’s founder and chief executive officer. “Young girls looking in their grandmas’ closets for things they can’t find in today’s market.” It’s not only young girls who are looking back, however. Designers are raiding their archives, as well. Says Bousquet: “For the 50th anniversary of Cacharel, we reedited the great story that was Liberty, which was a big success. It captured the romanticism of the Seventies, and of course it tied into this vintage trend. What’s really interesting is it really taught us about our positioning. The styles were easier, younger, gayer. Perhaps in recent years we’d strayed away from that. Now everyone at the design studio is working toward a renaissance at Cacharel, not inspired by vintage but very contemporary designs that we’ll show on the runway in September.

This story first appeared in the June 25, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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