Nantucket will never be the same again.
Friday morning, Brooks Brothers announced in WWD that Zac Posen will be the creative director for its women's mainline collection and accessories lines. Posen is known for his dramatic gowns (like the emerald one Liu Wen wore to this year's Met Gala) and for judging "Project Runway" with panache.
The news may leave some scratching their heads--the marriage of Posen's elegant, European taste and Brooks Brothers' classic, New England Americana aesthetic doesn't seem like a match made on fashion eHarmony--but Brooks Brothers chairman and chief executive officer Claudio Del Vecchio is certain that Posen has what it takes. He told WWD, “[Hiring Posen is] not for PR, but he’s a celebrity and I fully expect to get plenty of coverage and create traffic. But this is a business decision.” (In the same article, he called the hiring of Thom Browne, who's actually known for making suits, and who, might we note, currently designs Black Fleece for Brooks Brothers “a PR move.” Huh.)
Posen's first collection as creative director is expected to hit stores during the spring '16 season, giving him ample time to work with the brand's design teams. Del Vecchio was sure to point out that Posen will not be a designer for the brand, but rather take on an arbiter of taste role, and that his name will not appear on any of the merchandise's labels.
Women's apparel accounts for about 20 percent of Brooks Brothers' business (WWD has its annual sales at $1.2 billion), and the brand is expecting that number to grow with the addition of Posen. Considering that he used to babysit Lena Dunham and is BFFs with Stella Schnabel and Coco Rocha, Posen is probably going to help get more celebs into Brooks Brothers clothing, which may translate into sales.
Posen remained respectful and coy on the matter of his appointment, telling WWD, "[I'm] honored and excited to be embarking on this incredible opportunity to take the Brooks Brothers women’s brand into the future while respecting its deep, rich American heritage as an institutional company.” At the very least, we can expect a lot more tailored navy blazers coming into style very soon….