Thursday, July 20, 2006
The De-Mark-ation of Design
At about this time last year there was a frenzy surrounding Mark Eisen. The former Perry Ellis designer was coming out of semi-retirement to debut Karoo, a luxurious line of knitwear with innovative designs and reasonable price points.
Generous coverage in the New York Times Sunday Style Section, followed by a late summer trunk show at Bergdorf’s, and all the fashion folks were a-talkin’.
I signed on early. His grey cashmere shrug hung around my shoulders from the hot summer nights of July til the wintry ways of January and February.
I bought a wool-blend deep v-neck in September, a ribbed black cashmere turtleneck in January and a thick sleeveless cable-knit mock-turtle in March.
Come to think of it, I haven’t purchased that many pieces from a single collection since I shopped at Abercrombie in ninth grade. I was hooked, and so was everyone else.
So what did Eisen do with his re-discovered success? Parlayed it into the mass-market, of course!
That’s right; a 35-piece collection for Wal-Mart label George ME by Mark Eisen hits the chain of super-duper markets this September.
Expect recycled silhouettes, prone-to-pill fabrics and $17.98 (and falling) prices.
But if you’re the type of person who will wait in line overnight at H&M for the designer diffusion du jour, then perhaps this is for you.
Final Word: What’s next, the $9.99 twin-set at Sam’s Club? I wouldn’t be surprised.