SOUTHERN COMFORT: Kostas Murkudis is taking Closed southbound.

At Tuesday’s collection preview and cocktail, the designer showed off a range of men’s and women’s looks for the denim and sportswear label. Explaining the range on display, from patchworked and colored striped denim to refined, athletic-inspired layered mesh separates, Murkudis cited Closed’s history as a genre-mixer as well as a trendsetter in the designer jeans realm.

“Before, there was only Lee, Wrangler and Levi’s,” he said.

For spring-summer 2014 Closed’s inspiration comes from hotspots including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico and — perhaps most vividly — multicultural Brazil.

“São Paulo has 50,000 Japanese — it’s the largest community outside Tokyo,” noted Murkudis in explaining the sportier, more playful approach to the kimono that influenced his latest designs. This was most evident in the collection piece he called his favorite, a hybrid track jacket-kimono merging lush embroidered silk with striped elastic collars and cuffs.

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