Runway News


Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons has long been known as one of the fashion industry’s leading innovators. Now the Japanese designer has launched a new temporary “guerrilla” brand conceived to counteract the economic downturn (the collection is supposed to last as long as the recession lasts).  It’s called ‘Black Comme des Garcons’. The Black line just landed in two Tokyo department stores, and sales are already 50 percent higher than expected. This is a big relief, considering that since 2004, Comme des Garcons has opened and closed 31 stores.

In terms of price points, the Black line is less expensive than the Comme des Garcons line (by about 50 percent), but more expensive than Kawajubo’s line for H&M.  Prices range from $84 to $147 for tees, and from about $350 to $623 for jackets. The collection consists of some of Comme’s best selling silhouettes in popular fabrics and the line’s signature prints, such as polka dots, gingham, and checkerboard (which were also prominent in the H&M capsule collection).

The collection will be sold in 11 different locations. Freestanding stores in New York and Paris will open June 22. There will also be a two-week pop-up shop at Barneys New York and Colette in Paris.

In addition to the lower price points, department stores are reportedly loving the “speed merchandising” strategy that the collection features.  New styles will arrive approximately every six weeks.

Given the interest and the fact that sales are higher than expected, it is not surprising that the label may launch men’s Black styles as well.

Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.