Disneyrollergirl is loving the new designer-high street love-in
When I got the memo that Ann-Sofie Back had signed up with Cheap Monday to head its design team in Sweden, I was so excited I nearly choked on my Dr Karg crispbread.
After the previous appointments of Jil Sander at Uniqlo and Patrick Robinson at Gap set the wheels in motion, it seems this name-designer-at-high-street-helm concept looks set to be the start of something big. In fact, it has already reached UK shores. Girlie-chic designer Tracey Boyd is now neatly installed at Monsoon to 'fashion it up' a bit while keeping true to the house style.
What I like about this new riff on an old designer-meets-high-street idea is it gives the designers a platform to show what they can really do away from the cosseted world of high fashion. Rather than releasing a one-off greatest hits collection which let's face it, is nothing more than a PR exercise, they are using their design skills to add long term value to a mass-market brand. In turn, the designer enjoys the creative challenge of working at high street level with all the cost and production issues that entails.
Whether this sea change has come about due to the recession - for a non-mainstream designer like Ann-Sofie Back, it affords stability in a shaky market - remains to be decided. In the meantime, I'd like to propose Helmut Lang at H & M, Hedi Silmane at Topman (sorry Gordon) and Karen Walker at Topshop. Who would you like to see hooking up?