Younger designers were thriving during pre-recession after many received glowing endorsement from Anna Wintour. After the recession however, the only ones really thriving are those receiving the Mrs. O stamp of approval. Fashion designers on every level are pinching the pennies and tightening purses, some even going as far as cutting down staff and not showing at recent Fashion Weeks. Zac Posen isn’t immune to the recession blues, which is why he cut his VP of communication last week. We all know PR is usually the first thing to go at any company or agency so it was not surprise to hear of Posen’s decision.
Fast forward a week. Posen announced today that he’s designing a lower priced line of clothing and accessories to launch in the spring. Z Spoke, a new lower-priced line launching exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue for spring will be a recession friendly label for those who love Posen but can’t afford his collections.
According to WWD, Z Spoke’s opening price point is $78 for cotton shirts and $675 for a knit dress as opposed to the $900 to $12,000 range of Posen’s higher end line. Posen wants the Z Spoke label to be more of an American sportswear collection while his Zac Posen line stays true to elegant dresses and cocktail pieces. Posen told WWD that though his original collection was driven by Hollywood actresses, he expects his Z Spoke line to be more attuned to the streets.
“It’s not Zac-for-less, it’s not the little sister collection at all,” says Posen. “The dresses — that’s something I can do with my eyes closed. This is about a new identity.” His inspiration board is full of downtown imagery such as beaten-up Nike Dunks and a shot of Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle. A palette of neutrals with ample pops of kelly green, pink and red gives the clothes a retro vibe, or an “urban hipster quality” as Posen puts it, adding he could see these styles on a Lower East Side girl. [WWD]