When a few weeks ago, pictures surfaced of Karl Lagerfeld‘s collaboration with French mail-order catalogue 3 Suisses, observers were a bit confused.
Somehow, with King Karl’s willingness to work together with mass retailers such as H&M and his prominence at the launch event in Paris last week, you would have expected him to have played a more dominant role in 3 Suisses’ creative repositioning, which has been envisioned by its makers for the past seasons.
But as it turns out, Lagerfeld ceded that part to the next generation: thanks to Maria Luisa — the famous Parisian fashion buyer who was also responsible for Manish Arora’s collaboration with 3 Suisses last fall — a daring selection of young, vanguard designers contributed haute pieces at hot prices for A/W10.
There are leather spencer jackets, t-shirts, and organza skirts by London wild child Charles Anastase ($71 to $289), leather necklaces, cuffs, and bags by accessory designer Natalia Brilli ($42 to $218), silk dresses and knit coats by HyÃ¨res festival winner Christian Wijnants ($187 to $216), and a trapeze dress by enfant terrible Bernhard Willhelm ($129).
Maria Luisa even contributed one of her own designs, a snake print sweater ($100), which will go on sale together with her protÃ©gÃ©s’ capsule ranges.
The ‘repositioning’ move follows similar projects by 3 Suisses competitor La Redoute, who also commissioned Wijnants previously as well as the equally edgy Gaspard Yurkievich, Sophia Kokosalaki and Tsumori Chisato.
3 Suisses is already available in all of Europe and some Asian and African countries with the launch date of the fall/winter collections is set for early July. Meanwhile, the US section of its website announces that it is ‘Coming Soon.’