Update (30/03/2020): Earlier this month (yes it’s still March), Jean Paul Gaultier revealed his plans to employ a rolling roster of creatives to design a couture collection for the house each season following his retirement. First up, was Chitose Abe of Sacai. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the house has announced that the release of the collection has been pushed to January 2021.
The news comes after the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode announced last week that it was cancelling men’s and couture fashion week.
According to WWD, the brand said in a statement: “Even though our new haute couture concept will see the light of day only in January 2021, our teams, Chitose Abe and Jean Paul Gaultier are as committed to it as ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us like all the other couture houses, but we are confident that the success of Jean Paul Gaultier’s last couture collection in January will help us traverse this difficult year.”
Original (04/03/2020): Earlier this year, Jean Paul Gaultier announced that he was retiring from the fashion industry after 50 years. He bowed out with a spectacular show at Couture Week, however there was no word as to who would replace him at the helm of the label. Until now.
According to WWD, the brand will enlist a revolving roster of creatives to design the collection each season. First up is Sacai designer Chitose Abe who will design the Fall 2020 couture collection which will show at Couture Week in July. Speaking to the site, Gaultier said the strategy will allow the designers to “interpret the codes of the house and give the vision of the haute couture.” Of Abe he said, “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.”
Sacai is known for its fashion forward streetwear, with couture being a new arena for Abe. On the opportunity, she told WWD, “I have a long-held admiration for Jean Paul’s unique vision of subversive femininity and his originality, both of which I’ve strived towards in my work since the beginning. It’s a true honour to be given the opportunity to be custodian of his house as the first designer of this project.”
This project isn’t the first time Abe has teamed up with another designer – she’s been working with Nike since 2014, as well as having designed limited edition collabs for Beats by Dr. Dre, Uggs, Birkenstock and The North Face.
Couture Week in July is going to be one for the history books, thanks to this collection, as well as the return of Balenciaga to the calendar after a 52 year hiatus.
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