What’s the Next Step for a Revived Heritage Brand? Fast Fashion, Of Course


A recent flurry of interest in forgotten heritage brands — Moynat, Cacharel, Elsa Schiaparelli –resulted in new investment and the reopening of dusty archives.  But with young designers on board and freshly opened boutiques, what’s the next step to bring these brands into modernity?

A fast fashion collaboration seems to be the logical idea.  Courrèges, the iconic 60s label which was bought and revived by two French investors at the end of 2011, kicked off its new life with re-issued classic looks (A-line dresses, cropped vinyl jackets) and an e-commerce venue.  This week they announced an exclusive partnership with La Redoute, the inexpensive French mail-order company.  The fast fashion line will be debut in late June; prices will range from €39 to €299.

While the designer-mass market one-off has lost some of its luster as an overall concept, applying the notion to a recently revamped luxury brand is the right idea.  It brings broader awareness to the heritage line, while the mass brand producing the collection gets to offer something a little more unique and unknown than the typical designer collaboration.

The only thing that’s a downer about the La Redoute-Courrèges matchup?  La Redoute closed down its American arm in 2009.  Hopefully some of the Courrèges collection will wind up on eBay.