NEW YORK — Ramosport, the Paris-based outerwear firm, has nailed down the elusive Jean Colonna to be this season’s guest designer.
Once dubbed “the king of downtown Paris chic,” Colonna is using his signature edginess in the minicollection. He revved up the company’s classic trench by giving it a corseted back and revamped a motorcycle jacket in rain-resistant black satin.
Born in Belgium and based in Paris, Colonna was schooled at Pierre Balmain and Claude Montana. He continues to design his own ready-to-wear collection.
“We wanted something a little avant garde and Jean Colonna was the perfect fit,” said Joni Wilkins, vice president of Ramosport’s U.S. division.
A belted pleather trench, an asymmetric cotton and wool coat with scarf, a double-breasted trench, a nylon bomber jacket and cropped polyethylene and nylon jacket are among the looks in the Ramosport by Jean Colonna line.
Securing collaborations with avant garde designers each season is a priority for Ramosport chief executive officer Muriel Mesguich, whose great grandmother founded the business in 1905. Hussein Chalayan and E2 are the other design houses that have done collections for the company in recent seasons.
Ramosport by Jean Colonna will bow at select stores including Colette in Paris, Joseph in London, Takashimaya here and Lily Simon in Montreal. The collection, which will retail from $550 to $850, is expected to help lift Ramosport’s $7 million annual sales at retail, which are already running 25 percent ahead of last year, Wilkins said. She attributed some of the growth to Ramosport’s full-time designer Marcel Marongui’s understanding of how Americans differ from the brand’s European customers. “When I go to Paris and sit with him while he designs, I tell him, ‘This is for a very chic soccer mom,’” she said.