NEW YORK — The edgy capsule collection Jean Colonna designed for Ramosport this fall has been so well-received that he will do the honors again for the entire spring collection.
Colonna, who worked at Pierre Balmain and Claude Montana before setting out on his own, is using some unexpected combinations, just as he does with his own ready-to-wear collection. A seersucker peacoat with an airplane-type seat belt and another lace-trimmed coat in a Liberty floral print are two of the more unusual styles in the 50-piece spring collection, which features seven different fabrics.
His Ramosport collection is expected to generate $3 million in wholesale volume in North America, according to Joni Wilkins, vice president of Ramosport’s U.S. arm. It will be offered in 250 stores this spring in the U.S. and Canada, and will wholesale from $155 to $330.
Asking him to do a spring collection was “a very big thing” for Ramosport, Wilkins said. In Europe — where the bulk of the brand’s sales are derived — spring outerwear sales account for about 40 percent of annual sales compared with the U.S., where the season makes up 10 to 20 percent of volume, she said.
For his second run with Ramosport, Colonna had to tone things down a bit for American customers. Wilkins said she told Colonna, “My American customer wants to look fantastic, but she will only spend a minute or two putting on a coat.”
To keep things simple, the designer used Velcro closures for a few looks and the entire collection is water-resistant.
As to why the brand wanted to work with Colonna again, Wilkins said, “The market in general has gotten a little flat. There hasn’t been a huge unique offering in rainwear or activewear. This is new and fresh, but at the same time anyone can wear it.”
In recent seasons, Ramosport has used guest designers to cultivate a loyal following, especially among European women with a certain élan. Linking the brand with edgy firms such as Hussein Chalayan and E2 has proved to be a winning strategy for Ramosport chief executive officer Muriel Mesguich.
As for the collaboration with Colonna, Wilkins said, “We definitely plan to work with him again, but we might have someone [else] do the limited fall collection.”