Chitose Abe is what one might call a fashion late bloomer.
Roughly 15 years after launching her Tokyo-based collection, Sacai, Abe has experienced a recent surge in interest. Some credit the uptick to Karl Lagerfeld, who was seen wearing a Sacai blazer around Paris last season; others pinpoint Anna Wintour’s pit stop in Abe’s showroom during a 2011 trip to Tokyo. Regardless, the press caught onto Sacai when Abe upgraded her Paris presentation to a full runway show for fall 2011. “I felt the clothes needed to be worn on the runway to see the three-dimensionality of them,” said Abe of her hybrid cuts — spring’s sporty Windbreakers in grand Sixties couture volumes, for example — during an interview Tuesday morning at Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue flagship.
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