Designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia's debut collection as co-creative directors of Oscar de la Renta has been greatly anticipated since their appointment was announced in September. And why wouldn't it? The pair — both of whom cut their teeth at the legacy brand — struck out on their own to launch Monse following Mr. de la Renta's passing, and in less than two years, the label has become one of the hottest tickets during New York Fashion Week. But, as when any designer is tasked with splitting their time between their own venture and that of a larger fashion house, we were left wondering how Kim and Garcia would fare balancing the two brands.
On Thursday, we got our answer, at least in terms of their NYFW strategy: Business of Fashion reports that the Oscar de la Renta and Monse fall 2017 collections will be presented together in consecutive runway shows, without a break. The dual show is set to take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13 at Skylight Clarkson Square — a departure from Oscar de la Renta's more traditional venues such as the Morgan Library, where Mrs. Oscar de la Renta serves as a trustee, or its own showroom.
Spokespeople for both Monse and Oscar de la Renta did not immediately respond to Fashionista's request for comment.
Garcia told BoF that the decision to combine shows was, in part, due to the obvious — convenience and cost — but the co-creative directors also wanted to clearly delineate the two brands for editors and buyers. Garcia said:
We wanted to attack it head on: Can we do two different collections that have an identity on their own and be brave enough to show them together? Having them be consecutive does not mean that there is necessarily a blending of the ideas. There's going to be different styling for each show, and it's going to be very apparent where the [change] happens. The clothes are very different.
From an industry perspective, Oscar de la Renta Chief Executive Alex Bolen cited NYFW's inconsistent and overwhelming fashion calendar. He told BoF that this may provide a much-needed respite from the conventional show format, which showgoers will incidentally appreciate: "It's one less show that somebody has to run across town for."
But on the other hand, won't this also make it more difficult for both insiders and consumers to separate the two brands' collections? For Bolen, that's okay — it's desired, even. "I don't think they need to be totally separate," he told BoF. "It's going to be a happy day for me when I see a real customer with an Oscar blouse and a Monse skirt."
We will update this post should we learn more from either Monse or Oscar de la Renta.