Byline: Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — His first ready-to-wear collection for Louis Feraud won’t be unveiled in Paris until March, but Yves Mispelaere has shown a preview of his hand in the house’s core suit collection, which opened in its regional showrooms recently.
As part of the company’s overall restructuring since Mispelaere, a former designer for Prada and Valentino was installed as creative director last June, the image of its designer suit line — formerly called Louis Feraud Contraire — has been updated in fabric, embellishment and prints, and its New York showroom also has been redesigned to reflect the spirit of the new collection.
The company also is searching for a new retail location in New York on Madison Avenue, with plans to replace its existing store at 5 West 56th Street, said Lewis Koppelman, president of the company. A new store would be designed by Roland De Leu, who has designed stores for Christian Dior and Celine and is working with Feraud on a proposed boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris.
Saks Fifth Avenue also is creating a new space for the collection on its second floor as part of its Tower redesign plan, while Saks Jandel in Chevy Chase, Md., is moving Feraud to a new location with a separate store entrance that is twice the size of its existing 400-square-foot hard-shop boutique.
Mispelaere has wielded his hand in the suit collection, taking inspiration from Hollywood movie stars like Louise Brooks, Grace Kelly and Marlene Deitrich to create details such as embroidered lace insets and ribbon trim on separates, fur-trim coats and modern tuxedos with an Art Deco feeling. He has also incorporated a broader offering of blouses, translating Feraud’s traditional jewel-neck styles with retro prints and wide ribbon quilted seems.
Mispelaere will show another rtw collection in Paris in March that is tentatively called Feraud Luxe, a higher-end line that will be offered to retailers through its French headquarters. The suit collection is sold in Feraud’s showrooms in New York, Paris, London and Germany.
“There is still enough here for a store buying a more mature buy,” Koppelman said. “What we have now that was not here in the past is that, for a store that wanted to come in and create a new image of Louis Feraud, it is possible to do that.”