PARIS — Christian Lacroix — a man partial to jazzing up simple suits with natty, patterned shirts and his favorite sneakers — is finally ready for his men’s wear debut.
On Tuesday, the French couturier announced he has assigned two key licenses to French companies to launch his signature men’s wear for retailing next spring. They are Sadev for suits and Rousseau for shirts and knitwear.
Sadev, based in Nantes, France, manufactures and distributes suits for Pierre Cardin, Renoma and Azzaro. Lacroix suits will be priced to retail from about $675 to $1,125, according to the firm. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange.
Paris-based Rousseau, with factories in northwest France and Casablanca, Morocco, produces about 2 million shirts a year, with an annual turnover of $42.3 million. Its licenses include Christian Dior, Thierry Mugler and Pierre Cardin, along with its house brand, Pierre Clarence. Lacroix shirts are set to retail from about $100 to $170.
Lacroix already has a licensee for men’s ties, Mantero, which plans to “harmonize” its production with the new suits and shirts. Lacroix will oversee the design of all men’s products. Volume projections were not available at press time.
The designer was not available for comment Tuesday, but he has been mulling the project for years. Tuesday’s confirmation arrives on the eve of men’s fashion week in Paris, which kicks off Friday evening, and at a time when more women’s wear designers are throwing their hats into the men’s ring.
As reported, John Galliano plans to introduce his first signature men’s wear collection to a select group of retailers this weekend, but he will wait until next January to do his first big runway blowout. Lacroix plans to skip men’s week entirely, introducing the collection quietly in showrooms starting next month.
Other women’s wear designers that have recently crossed into men’s include Nicolas Ghesquière of Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf, Hussein Chalayan and Véronique Branquinho.