SINGAPORE (Nov 11): New capsule collections and a dream fashion factory to help women

Comfortable footwear for medical professionals

American sportswear brand New Balance and healthcare apparel specialist FIGS have released a capsule collection that merges style and function to bring comfort and fashion to healthcare professionals.

New Balance and FIGS are attempting to revolutionise the design of healthcare staff clothing, at least as far as their feet are concerned. The inaugural collection offers three models — two women’s and one men’s — in a total of five colourways. The collaboration seeks to produce footwear that is both durable and lightweight, two qualities prized by medical professionals, interns and students.

The FIGS x New Balance collection features three incarnations of the 996, in grey and black colourways for men, as well as navy for women, with details such as FIGS branding on the inside and a yellow signature on the front and bottom of the sole. Women will also be able to buy a special model of the 574s, in white with yellow on the back of the heels, and black with pink on the back of the heels.

Gender neutral capsule collection by Banana Republic

US apparel brand Banana Republic has added a gender neutral clothing line to its offering, to strengthen its commitment to celebrating diversity and equality.

The line — dubbed Universal Collection — features more than 60 items in modern classic styles, comprising T-shirts, sweaters, joggers, jackets, shirts, blazers and accessories such as bags, hats and scarves. It will be available in a wide range of sizing from XXS to XXL.

Pieces have been “cut with room to wear and share”, according to the company, with the clothing designed to provide a universally flattering fit — including shirts that can be tailored to fit a personal style as well as be “mix-and-matched”.

Dream factory launched

In some of the biggest news to hit the fashion industry last month, Richemont and Alber Elbaz (main image) announced that they would be joining forces to establish a “dream factory” — aimed at “developing solutions for women of our times”.

The tie-up will see the luxury behemoth and the fashion designer heavyweight enter into a joint venture called AZfashion (AlberelbaZfashion) — described in a statement as “an innovative and dynamic start-up, meant to turn dreams into reality”.

Commenting on the partnership, Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, says: “Upon hearing Alber Elbaz describe his vision for fashion and the projects it inspires in him, I was again struck by his creativity and insight. His talent and inventiveness, with his sensitivity towards women and their well-being, will be of great value to our group and its maisons.”

Elbaz, former creative director of French luxury label Lanvin, says he is pleased with the tie-up with Richemont, the Paris-based parent company of many of the most prestigious names in luxury, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

“I am very happy to partner with Richemont and to establish my ‘dream factory’, which will focus on developing solutions for women of our times. I am extremely excited to collaborate with good people, talented and smart individuals, and look forward to also having a lot of fun with this new adventure,” he says.