John Richmond turned inward, pondered his history, his loves — and his punk heart.
This British designer didn’t let Milan’s lockdown get to him. With nowhere to travel to, and not much to visit, John Richmond turned inward, pondered his history, his loves — and his punk heart. “I looked at where I came from, my DNA. Lockdown gave me a time to stop and think,” he said.
Richmond’s unisex collection had a defiant, indie, make-do-and-mend feel, from the tailored patchwork denim with rough edges and the little chains strung across evening dresses to the tough little studs on a baseball jacket.
He had one vision for men and women, dressing them in loose white jackets with shiny embroidery snaking down a single sleeve, or feather-dusted dresses and suits made from a silvery jacquard fabric with a shadowy animal print.
Both wore sheer broderie anglaise that Richmond had whipped into long hoodie tops, deep V-neck, boxy-sleeve shirts, or oversize collared ones. The delicate fabrics and loose shapes gave the collection a boho, beach-y feel and balanced all the punk toughness in the tailoring.
And while his inspirations may stretch back many decades, the designer is trying to appeal to a younger crowd, boost the digital business and speak directly to the consumer.
According to Mena Marano, chief executive officer of Arav Group, which owns Richmond’s label, as well as the Marcobologna and Silvian Heach brands, there are a number of initiatives in the works.
“Our plan is to get the customer excited with pop-ups, capsules and collaborations. We have a real opportunity to do things differently,” Marano said backstage after the show.
A new e-commerce platform debuted earlier this year, while a fragrance line will be unveiled next month at the TFWA travel retail trade show in Cannes. The company is also working on its first social-impact report, and Marano said the brand is looking to partner with suppliers that share its sustainable mentality.