New York designer Derek Lam is bringing his sophisticated style to a limited edition DesigNation collection for Kohl’s. Launching next year in April and May, the affordable assortment is inspired by one of the designer’s favorite cities, Rio de Janeiro. On a rainy spring visit, Lam was able to explore beyond the popular beaches.
“That was a blessing in disguise. We didn’t get stuck on the beach for days looking at all the bare bodies. I went to all the museums and saw the botanical gardens. I walked around Leblon where all the stores are,” he said to WWD.com. “And we ate a lot.”
The collaboration stepped outside of Lam’s usual inspirational zone of books and art to offer a fresh perspective. He brought the Brazilian metropolis to life with cityscapes as well as references from the deep jungle. Colors exploded in three unique stories including jungle green, aquamarine and yellow, and nude with orange sorbet. Artistic references trickled in with midcentury graphic artists like Hélio Oiticica inspiring a surfwear-like print.
“I really love the city. The people are wonderful and the setting is amazing,” said the designer.
Lam was also able to try his hand at creating swimwear, resulting in 15 styles. With Li & Fung’s Regatta managing production, he had the advantage of just focusing on design.
The Rio de Janeiro-inspired DesigNation collection of dresses, skirts, pants, capris, shorts, tank tops, outerwear and swimwear will retail from $36 to $98 at Kohl’s in-store and online.