French house Jean Paul Gaultier has announced a new concept whereby collections will be created by a series of guest design stars beginning with Sacai’s Chitose Abe. The Japanese designer will unveil her collaborative collection during Paris Couture Week in July.
The strategy has already seen much success at Remo Ruffini’s Moncler, which launched its Moncler Genius project in 2018 with collections designed by a revolving cast of fashion’s hottest talents such as Valentino and J.W.Anderson.
“I have a long-held admiration for Jean Paul’s unique vision of subversive femininity and his originality, both of which I’ve strived toward in my work since the beginning,” said Abe in a statement. “It’s a true honor to be given the opportunity to be custodian of his house as the first designer of this project.”
Added Gaultier of Abe: “I admire her work; we have many things in common creatively and a similar vision of fashion. I am glad to give her the complete freedom.”
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Cult favorite Abe, known for her signature hybrid garments and splicing techniques, has also been creating collaboration sneakers with Nike since 2014. The styles are released in limited batches so sought after that they never even hit the shop floor; instead, customers enter drawings to win the opportunity to buy them.
The newest Nike x Sacai styles, unveiled during Paris Fashion Week Men’s in January, are fusions of the Nike Vapor Runner and Pegasus models. Abe told FN backstage that she had also created a custom model for the Tokyo Olympics, launching for the July event.
While there were no sneakers on her fall ’20 women’s runway on Monday, there was a brand-new and highly covetable boot silhouette. Wide and structured, the boots featured a pointed toe, hiker sole and contrasting hourglass heel. They came straight up, with either heavy gold chains that matched the collection’s jewelry, or they were emblazoned with a graphic logo design done in repeat.
This print was another collaboration with the archive of American design icon Alexander Girard. Abe recolored and reimagined one of his typological prints using the word Sacai. The design came in two full looks featuring dresses, bags and aforementioned boots.
While her collaborations with Nike have made her a household name, this partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier will, no doubt, propel Abe into the rarified world of haute couture. It will also bring her ground-breaking design talent to the attention of a whole new audience.
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