Byline: Robert Murphy

PARIS — Junko Shimada, the Tokyo-based fashion firm, has turned to two of Paris’s rising-star designers to give it a jolt of creative energy.
Alexandre Morgando and Matthieu Bureau, the young design duo behind the Alexandre Matthieu label, have been tapped to design for the house, starting with its upcoming fall-winter 2001 collection, to be shown on the Paris runway in March.
Cedric Saint Andre Perrin, recently named creative consultant to the house, told WWD the designers’ contract is for four seasons.
“We picked Alexandre Matthieu because they have a unique, energetic vision,” commented Saint Andre Perrin. “Their designs are very Parisian and funky, but are based on the classics.”
Morgando and Bureau were first noticed two years ago when they were awarded the prestigious Hyeres fashion festival prize, also awarded to the likes of Victor & Rolf and Gaspard Yurkievich. But it was only last May, when Bjork wore one of their dresses to the Cannes film festival, that the two earned wide media attention.
Morgando and Bureau’s contract is similar to the arrangement Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere struck at Callaghan. Although Morgando and Bureau will design the collection, they will not take credit for it. Shimada, who is about 55, will continue to take a bow following the show, explained Saint Andre Perrin.
Shimada founded her house more than 20 years ago. According to Saint Andre Perrin, her business was considerable in Japan during the Eighties and early Nineties, at which point sales started to slide. He declined to reveal a current volume.
The house has 10 licensing agreements in Japan, including sunglasses, handbags, shoes and house linens. In Paris, the house shuttered its Avenue Montaigne address last August, which has since been occupied by Eres. This spring, however, it will open a new 1,400-square-foot boutique on the Rue Saint Florentin, near the Place de la Concorde.

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