On the Paris showroom circuit, two Azzedine Alaïa alumni will be presenting collections for fledgling sportswear labels based out of Paris and L.A.
Denim-focused L.A.-based label Marna Ro will present its second collection under Eric Sartori, former head designer at Azzedine Alaïa and knitwear and men’s designer at Marni. The brand specializes in easy, versatile pieces for the day. “It’s L.A.-meets-Paris,” Sartori said. “I was born in Paris and was always inspired by old French culture, especially the 17th and 18th centuries and here I’m treating it with a cool vibe — L.A. does that to you.”
The theme translates in items ranging from an oversize bomber jacket in a patchwork of “Marie-Antoinette-style” cotton brocade, lace and stonewashed denim with workwear-inspired pockets to a trompe l’oeil overall dress in heavy silk crepe or cotton twill.
“Everything is stonewashed, you can wear the pieces with flip-flops or sneakers,” said the designer of the line, which is produced in L.A. using fabrics sourced locally and from Europe or Japan.
Launched in 2012, Marna Ro is owned by The Nasa Group, Malaysia’s largest privately owned conglomerate, which is active in the automotive, property, F&B and telecommunications industries. Since Sartori’s arrival, the brand has been picked up by around 20 key stores internationally including L’Éclaireur, Joyce and H. Lorenzo.
Marna Ro will present through Oct. 5 at its Paris showroom.
At the creative helm of UNX, positioned as a Parisian take on the ath-leisure movement, is Hedi El Chikh who cut his teeth as assistant to Azzedine Alaïa for five years.
For the label’s see-now-buy-now fall 2016 line — available since mid-September on its e-shop and at Paris department store Galeries Lafayette — El Chikh looked to sportswear pioneers like Jean Patou and America’s Claire McCardell, focusing on easy cuts favoring movement and comfort in noble fabrics. Items range from embroidered sweatshirts, intarsia knits and denim blousons to kimono coats in weighty jersey — the most expensive piece, retailing at 650 euros, or about $725 at current exchange rates.
The label’s sporty side kicks in on track pants in merino wool and leggings in a breathable technical fabric with floral side strips and an elasticated waistband inspired by boxing shorts.
Behind the label are entrepreneurs Olivier Dall’Arche, former innovation director at L’Oréal Group, and his wife Marie, both Krav Maga enthusiasts who found the market was lacking in the kinds of everyday comfort-chic pieces they were looking for.
UNX is available to see by appointment throughout Paris Fashion Week at the M&K showroom.