LONDON — Erdem Moralioglu has realized a longterm dream of designing men’s wear, and is launching the category, complete with knits, outerwear and tailored clothing, for spring 2022.
The designer, known for his rich, patterned fabrics — and many references to European aristos and socialites — said it was about time he took the leap into men’s, which will sell through his London store and online channel and through multi-brand specialty stores as well.
In an interview, Moralioglu said the months of lockdown gave him time to plan how to dress his man, which he describes as a brother to the Erdem woman.
“The brother that kind of steals her sweaters and other pieces of her clothing and adopts them for himself.” Moralioglu admitted that he and men in his studio have, in the past, swiped knitwear and denim from the women’s collections, for their own wardrobes.
“I always felt so much of the world I was creating for women could be applicable to a man. It was just an inevitable thing. And that quietness of the pandemic allowed a moment to focus, to really think about who my man is, what he’s about, his relationship to my woman.”
Moralioglu said he’s using many of the same knitwear, shirt and outerwear factories that produce his women’s wear. The collection will also have the same luxury price points as the women’s wear. The collection will start landing on the shop floor in November.
For the debut collection, Moralioglu took the late filmmaker Derek Jarman, author of “Modern Nature,” as one of his inspirations. Moralioglu said he liked the idea of uniform dressing and was inspired by Jarman in his ubiquitous boiler suit, by the beach in Dungeness, on the south coast of England.
He shot the lookbook, and an accompanying film, on the beach, not in Dungeness, but on the south coast, not far from the Isle of Wight, conjuring the moody landscapes of Jarman’s books.
Moralioglu also looked to the works and notebooks of the British watercolor painter Patrick Procktor, who was always impeccably dressed. The designer said Procktor’s look inspired him to create wardrobe classics, including a camel cotton jacquard mac and a lineup of breezy collarless shirts.
The collection is unmistakably Erdem, with lots of rich cashmere knits in jewel tone colors, mohair sweaters with thick stripes, sharply tailored jackets with fabric-covered buttons and ankle-length, flat-front trousers, chinos and corduroys worn with, or without, a cummerbund.
A floral print, recalling Jarman’s cottage garden and Procktor’s nature paintings in Morocco, Corfu and Egypt adorns wide-legged shorts and denim pieces.
Moralioglu’s move into a new category is an unusual one for a London designer, post COVID-19. Many have downsized their businesses in response to the pandemic, reducing the number of collections they make each year, showing in simpler formats or not at all.
He is also one of the very few London designers to have built a profitable business without significant outside investment. According to Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses, in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, Erdem’s turnover was 11.7 million pounds while profit was 227,318 pounds.
The designer has a standalone store on South Audley Street in Mayfair, London and sells his women’s collection at stores including Matchesfashion, Net-a-porter, Selfridges, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.