Desigual launches collaboration with Libertine founder Johnson Hartig
The Catalan fashion label continues to create collaborations, one of its most recent hallmarks. From a long-term alliance with French couturier Christian Lacroix, to collections with designers such as María Escoté and artist Miranda Makaroff, a product offering based on creative synergies has taken over the Spanish company founded by Thomas Meyer. One of its joint ventures that undoubtedly earned a great amount of international visibility was launched last spring in partnership with the Colombian designer, Esteban Cortázar. The Barcelona firm founded in 1984 revisits this creative strategy through the launch of a capsule collection designed by Johnson Hartig, which will be unveiled on Tuesday, March 1.
"For Desigual, the most important thing is to work with artists and designers who share our values and purpose. We love collaborating with people who, like us, want to convey optimism and positive energy", Guillem Gallego, Desigual's chief marketing officer, told FashionNetwork.com about this new collaborative initiative, adding that the aim of these partnerships is to “bring innovation and freshness to the collections.” The brand describes the collaboration with Libertine’s founder as "natural", given that both parties believe in the concept of "more is more. More color, more collage, more patchwork, and more mixing.”
"Desigual is known for vibrant patterns and colors, much as my brand is,” said the creator of the Los Angeles-based firm characterized by its colorful designs, acknowledging that, in some cases, his garments have been confused with those of the Spanish brand. "It was a joy to know that I could really go as wild as I wanted with print and color," he said, detailing that his relationship with Desigual began a year and a half ago after Lacroix recommended him to the brand. "We like to collaborate with unconventional talents, with designers who are not afraid to experiment and who help us take our collections to the next level. That’s exactly what Johnson Hartig brings to the table, what he has taught us over the last 20 years through his brand Libertine,” added Gallego about the screen printing and embroidery specialist, who throughout his career has worked with artists such as Damien Hirst and brands including Goyard and Converse.
Three trips to Barcelona and many Zoom calls later, the #DesigualXJohnsonHartig capsule inspired by juxtaposed elements finally saw the light of day. The 25-piece collection loaded with color, sequins, and tassels includes a black nylon bomber jacket featuring colorful ribbons hanging from the neckline and paired with matching shorts, a silver sequined hoodie and shorts set, and a gingham patchwork blazer with matching shorts in primary colors. The lineup is completed with garments in hypnotic patterns and patchwork prints, denim accents typical of Desigual, crochet embroideries, rhinestone appliqués, printed T-shirts, a wide-brimmed hat, and two pairs of sneakers.
"In this collection, we created a multicolored patchwork print that was bright but not super oversaturated," said the designer of the American brand founded in 2001. He did not forget to add ruffled skirts inspired by flamenco in his capsule as well as various references to art history, as he habitually does for his own collections.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Desigual currently employs more than 2,700 people and is present in 100 countries through 10 distribution channels, 415 mono-brand stores and 6 product categories: women, men, kids, accessories, shoes and sportswear. In the 2020 financial year, the brand's turnover contracted by 38.8% to 360 million euros.
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