NEW YORK — Six years after the launch of her Puma-backed Nuala line, Christy Turlington Burns is taking a fresh approach for fall with her new design partner, Magda Berliner.
Turlington Burns has teamed up with the L.A. stylist and designer to update the collection, which began as a yoga-inspired line and then grew into a ready-to-wear label with a wide range of products. In its latest incarnation, the line is revisiting activewear, albeit with sophisticated styling, and has updated its sportswear with looks such as kimono tunics, convertible jackets and loose-fitting dresses.
“This is a performance-oriented collection for a sophisticated and fashionable woman,” said Berliner in an interview at Puma’s showroom at 430 West 14th Street here. “It’s comfortable and can be used for yoga, but it’s not sloppy. Many of the pieces are made of organic fabrics.”
Turlington Burns, who is eight months pregnant with her second child, said she was excited about the latest tack. “With Magda coming on, we are putting a new spin on Nuala. The line had gotten so big, and now we are paring down and are more focused. We spent a lot of time working together to get the details right.”
Berliner, who is known for her quirky designs, vintage dresses and use of lace, said it is something of a departure for her to design activewear, a category she has never done before. But as a daily runner and active person, she said she has a feel for what works for athletes and different body types. “There are a few silhouettes that are cut smaller and designed for a smaller person,” she noted.
Berliner takes over for Tina Lutz, who stepped down last spring when she was expecting her first child.
“This is completely different from my own collection, but there are some similar sensibilities,” Berliner said. For example, some Nuala items have lace trim; another new item is a kimono jacket that can be worn in different ways (versatile garments have long been a hallmark of Berliner’s own collection). As in her own line, textures are key to the looks. Fabrics include wool, tweed and a jersey material that has bamboo woven into it, and among other pieces in the collection are loose-fitting cotton shorts and a cropped parka. The color palette includes hues such as burnt orange, purple and beige.
Retail prices for the line range from about $35 for tops up to $350 for some of the outerwear. Prices for fall are slightly lower than they have been in recent seasons, Turlington Burns noted. Nuala is now sold in some Nordstrom locations and Takashimaya in New York, as well as the new Puma Black concept stores.
In addition to its core apparel line, Nuala has accessories and footwear, and still has plenty of growth opportunities, said Turlington Burns. “There are so many things we can do with Nuala; I want to eventually do maternity wear, and I’d love to do a children’s line,” she said. “But for now, we are focusing on a smaller, simpler collection.” Nuala also has a secondary line, Mahanuala, which has more technical yogawear products and is geared to a younger customer.
Nuala is a key part of Puma’s strategy to work with designers and artists on collaborative lines to develop lifestyle products. Puma also has deals with Alexander McQueen, Neil Barrett and Dutch designer Alexander van Slobbe, as well as Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro and Philippe Starck. “These collaborations are a great way for us to do new things and keep Puma fresh,” said Antonio Bertone, the company’s global director of brand management.
Recently, Puma began opening Puma Black stores, which are devoted exclusively to these collaborative lines, including Nuala. There are now two Black units, one in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and another in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. The company is looking to open additional locations in San Francisco and Los Angles, as well as in Europe.
“Nuala has been a cornerstone of our women’s strategy,” said Bertone. “The collection has evolved nicely and we see more growth ahead.”