Kohl's will soon be giving Macy's and Target a run for their money: The department store has just announced they'll be launching a new designer collaboration program, Design Nation, WWD is reporting.
Last week, we scratched our heads over the news that Narciso Rodriguez would be designing a line for Kohl's, but now the collaboration is starting to make a whole lot more sense. Indeed, Narciso will be the first designer to participate in Kohl's Design Nation, and his collection will kick off the program when it launches in November.
But Design Nation isn't just your run of the mill designer diffusion program. Developed by LF USA, the concept invites designers to travel to a city of their choosing, where they'll search for inspiration for the month-long capsule collection. The result will pieces that not only reflect the designer's DNA, but also the city's.
For the inaugural collection, Narciso chose Istanbul. Earlier this year, he travelled to the city and got to explore it for four days (with Kohl's execs in tow), visiting museums, palaces, bazaars, and taking a boat tour down the Bosphorus. Anyone else exceedingly jealous?
But it wasn't all fun and games. Narciso was steadfastly collecting inspirations for his collection. "There is such a great mix of Europe and Asia [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," Rodriguez told the trade. At one point the designer took a picture of a stack of rugs, which was later created into an abstract print that will feature in the collection.
The line, said to be a more playful iteration of the Narciso brand, will feature outerwear, tops, dresses, and knits, and will be priced between $30 to $150. "I wanted to take what I do and merge it with something completely different," the designer told WWD.
“A designer’s mission is to dress as many people as possible,” Rodriguez he added. “It’s always been something that I have looked to do — to reach and touch people’s lives with my work." Obviously, this new collaboration with Kohl's will do just that--bringing the somewhat niche brand to a far broader audience. And from what we can see from the preview--sleek graphic dresses and coats in bold colors--the collection will be a hit. At least with us, anyway.
So who will be the next designer to work with Kohl's Design Nation? Sources told WWD to expect Derek Lam. Cross your fingers!
Click through to see the looks from the collection.