Derek Lam’s Good Taste

Always on the move, Derek Lam, who teamed up with Schwartz & Benjamin last year to expand his footwear offerings, recently added diffusion line 10 Crosby Derek Lam. “It’s a slow build to create a space and validity for the shoe collections,” the designer said. “While we have shown several seasons of shoes to the buyers, we are [just] getting traction at retail, so building on that momentum will be the focus for the next few seasons.” Although Lam is knee-deep in preparations for spring ’14 Fashion Week, he has found time to dive into a different sort of project: promoting “Poetry by Derek Lam,” a limited-edition wine blended in collaboration with Cliff Lede Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. “[It] was an unexpected but totally interesting project,” he said of the cabernet sauvignon, available in October. “To create a wine, which may seem [completely different from] creating fashion, actually has many parallels. The most exciting intersection is that [each] comes from a passion for imagination and creativity.” Lam also revealed his take on platforms, puppies and the secret to achieving Fashion Week zen.

One item everyone should have in their closet: “A clean white shirt is a must for every man, [and] a beautiful white blouse should be in every woman’s wardrobe.”

Platform shoes — in or out?
In. “There is always a woman who wants that extra bit of height that a platform sole provides. Making the styling look fresh is the challenge.”

Favorite animal:
“My dog, Roscoe. He’s only six months old, so such a puppy, but what a joy he is to have in my life.”

Current read: “‘Zealot: The Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth’ by Reza Aslan”

Fashion Week mantra: “I try not to stress at all. By that time, [the collection] is pretty much done and it has to be shown, so getting nuts about something is unproductive. My motto: ‘If you tried your best, it is what it is.’”

Must-have wardrobe items:
“James Perse and SeaVees slip-on canvas shoes.”

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