Eight years after closing his namesake collection, Benoit Méléard, who made a name for himself with his avant-garde designs, is back for spring ’11 with a line called Manifesto, which pays homage to the late designer Beth Levine. “She was my mentor when I was starting out,” said Méléard, who showed a collection of sleek, sculptural looks at Hôtel Costes last week.
At least one of today’s biggest designers is happy to see Méléard back in action. “When I was in college, he was the one designer I looked up to,” said Nicholas Kirkwood. Manolo Blahnik has also named Méléard as a designer to watch. — Katie Abel
Architecture, organic shapes and the work of Swedish sculptor Eva Hild are among designer Burak Uyan’s inspirations for his first collection under his own name. “I like to work with overlapping superimpositions and organic shapes, mixing round and geometric shapes and different textures,” said the 31-year old designer of Turkish descent. “There are no specifically evening or day styles. The styles are meant for all day, every day.” The debut collection, unveiled in a Saint Honoré showroom in Paris, includes flats retailing for around $650 and high heels that will be priced up to $1,500, depending on materials. With experience designing for Givenchy and Giambattista Valli, in addition to his most recent stint at Aperlaï, Uyan said he is thrilled to be working under his own name. “It was the right time,” he said.
— Regina Smith Popp
Finance to Footwear
Former hedge-fund relationship manager Linda Del Rio Jannson is trying her luck in the footwear business with London-based label Del Rio London. The line, unveiled at the Luxury Vendôme, features Spanish-made artisan sandals with recycled tire soles. “I will be very selective in terms of the stores I sell to,” said Jannson. Retail price points will start at $400. — Elisa Anniss