Narciso Rodriguez is showing no signs of slowing down at the moment. In June he announced that he's designing a special line in collaboration with Kohl's to kick off their designer collaboration initiative and this week he confirmed that he's signed on for another big gig.
Banana Republic have confirmed that the designer will now serve as an advisor as part of an effort to 'build upon the strengths of the brand,' according to the press release. The role is suppose to allow him 'to contribute to an already strong design and production team,' which basically means that he will bring a bit of what he does best to the brand's existing aesthetic. And their not wasting any time. Rodriguez will start his new gig for the retailer from August 20th and will start working on their Fall 2013 collection.
Narciso Rodriguez produced a confident debut collection of shoes back in February and if you're a fan, I come baring good news. Today you can pre-order the collection from Barneys for delivery later this month.
The 12-piece collection saw the designer experiment with fabrics like python and lizard skin in what he is hoping is the beginning of a big new product category for the brand. 'The [high-end[ accessory market is ever-growing,' he told Footwear News. 'Since I became the sole owner of the company [in 2008], we have been looking to open new divisions and other categories.'
Over the past few months there's been a lot of surprise partnerships. The first was that Narciso Rodriguez is partnering with Kohl's shortly followed by the announcement that Maison Martin Margiela will serve as the next fashion house to collaborate with H&M. Christian Louboutin's latest partnership, on the other hand, is one that makes sense.
This morning the brand confirmed that the designer has created the ultimate, modern-day Cinderella inspired slipper in partnership with Disney. 'Cinderella is not only an iconic character when it comes to beauty, grace and fairytale love, but also shoes,' he explained and if there's anyone that tap into the fantasy of the film and create a statement shoe, it's him.
His version of the iconic shoe comes in delicate lace covered in crystals and with two sparking butterflies, one on the ankle and the other on the vamp. 'Her character and her story dictated the design to me,' Louboutin explained when asked about the inspiration behind the design. 'It was all there in the pages and the words of this tale.
As far as designer collaborations with the high street go, Target (along with Macy's) have pretty much dominated that area in the States. Over the years they have partnered with everyone from Missoni to Jason Wu and as previously reported, Kohl's are getting in on the action.
To launch their new designer collaboration initiative, Design Nation, earlier on this week they confirmed that they are working on a line with Narciso Rodriguez and now the first images of the collection have surfaced.
Unlike other initiatives, Design Nation sends designers to a destination of their choosing, which will then serve as the foundation of inspiration for the collection. For Rodriguez, that destination was Istanbul, which he travelled to for four days earlier on this year. 'There is such a great mix of Europe and Asian [in Istanbul], and a really cool new scene, from the arts to the kids, the graffiti, the colors of the streets, the patinas on the walls, the tiles on the floors,' he told WWD.
H&M's partnership with Maison Martin Margiela isn't the only shock collaboration being announced this week. Today Kohl's confirmed that they are starting to partner with designers to offer affordable designs and first up is Narciso Rodriguez. WWD reports that the designer, most known for outfitting Michelle Obama on election night back in 2008, has signed on to create a one-off collection for the retailer that will drop this winter.
The announcement is unexpected because it marks Kohl moving in a new direction. They're known for working with celebrities having worked with Jennifer Lopez and Lauren Conrad on lines but aside from their partnership with Vera Wang, they haven't really teamed up with designers before. So far they haven't released information about what can we expect but since their partnership with Rodriguez kicks off their new designer collaborations, I'm sure it will be good.
The Narciso Rodriguez Pre-Fall 2012 collection was really strong and yesterday one of the pieces had their red carpet moments.
Jessica Alba chose the jacquard printed dress from the collection and teamed it perfectly with a pair of gold Giuseppe Zanotti heels to attend the 2012 Outstanding Mother Awards at the Pierre Hotel in New York.
Piracy is the age old problem faced by many designers and things initially seemed to be moving in the right direction when the CFDA pushed a bill to crack down on it last summer. Everyone from Narciso Rodriguez to the Proenza Schouler duo backed the anti-piracy legislation in Washington but unfortunately they haven't made much progress.
'If we learned nothing else in this giant civics lesson, we learned that’s the way things work in Washington.…A bit of patience is needed,' Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, said this week. 'We remain focused on it, but we are also building other ways to spread the word on why intellectual property belongs to the person who created it.' Without the support of Congress it looks like it's back to the drawing board.'
When it comes to minimalism, Narciso Rodriguez is among one of the best. The designer - who rose to fame after designing the ever so simple wedding dress of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy in 1996 - definitely showed other designers how it's done. The collection was deceivingly simple warranting a second look to appreciate the attention each garment's detail - and this was clearly intentional. "There's so much noise in fashion," he told Style.com. "I wanted something fresh, easy and pretty" and that's exactly what we got.
Silk ivory dresses looked effortless. The pieces in the collection were chic and powerful but were not overbearing - allowing the woman herself to be the centre of attention. The show began with a long lean grey over-the-knee dress quickly followed by a simple grey mid-length skirt and ivory silk top with a deep v-neck. Coats were a strength, coming with deeply rounded necks in black and grey. A black tuxedo appeared in a relaxed style teamed with a sheer black blouse alongside bias cut dresses in ivory.
After a healthy and succesful 12 year partnership, news broke on Wednesday that Balenciaga is severing ties with Pierre Rougier's PR Consultancy to go All-American. According to Communications Director Lionel Vermeil, the switch is "a normal evolution" for Balenciaga however, there has been much speculation that there is more to the story than meets the eye.
Sources say that tensions between the company's arose after a Balenciaga designer left for a job with a New York-based label which PR Consulting represents alongside with other major players in the fashion industry; Vera Wang, Narciso Rodriguez and Proenza Schouler. Other suggestions have been made that involve Nicolas Ghesquiere's designs being "too" similar to those of other PR Consulting clients. After all who could forget when Carine Roitfield and her team from French Vogue were unceremoniously banned from the March show after rumours emerged of Roitfeld loaning Max Mara a Balenciaga coat, which was then replicated before being hastily returned.
Pierre Rougier would not discuss the allegations but he did explain his sadness at the loss of such a great label. "Balenciaga is widely considered one of PR Consulting’s crown jewels and it’s been a wonderful 12-year adventure. I really wish Nicolas and Balenciaga all the best and lots of luck going forward as it’s been really great and I really don’t want it to seem any other way.”
So the vacancy of US director of PR for Balenciaga stands and is expected to be taken within next week.