Derek Lam Takes Kohl's to Brazil for Next Destination-Inspired Collaboration

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Derek Lam Takes Kohl\'s to Brazil for Next Destination-Inspired Collaboration
Is there like, an online dating service for high fashion designers and mass chain retailers we don’t know about? Because the two seem to be getting cozy with their sewing machines under candlelight everywhere these days. Also, I’d like to create a profile.

Derek Lam and Kohl’s are the next big profile names to get together for the store’s DesigNation project, which asks designers to create travel collections inspired by a destination. Derek is the second American designer, succeeding the Istanbul-themed designs from Narcisso Rodriguez last summer.

This April, Kohl “travels” to Rio de Janeiro with Derek to create fitted T-shirt dresses, black trouser skirts, and some swimwear pieces—a first for the designer.

"I imagined a woman from Rio going to the beach in the morning, meeting friends for lunch and having drinks at the end of the day, with maybe a little work in between,” explained Derek to WWD on his destination choice. “Rio de Janeiro is a city that bridges the old with the new, where you can’t separate what is natural from what is man-made.”

However, if you’re visualizing scantly bikinis en route of Miami, then you weren’t with Derek when he flew to Brazil to gather field research and insight for the collection. It was raining the entire time he was there, so instead think rainforests, botanicals, and a mixture of classic architectural lines and nature-inspired colors.

Derek was initially hesitant to take on one of these collabs, initially telling Styleite that “I never wanted to do that, not because I was being a snob, but I felt like by the time I was ready…it didn’t feel fresh anymore, so many people have already done it…I think collaborations are wonderful, but I’m always looking at it from, ‘Are we doing something new?’” That train of thought in mind, if Derek agreed to this Kohl’s project than you know you can expect something different and innovative.

Get your passports/wallets ready. Best part is the collection will retail in between the range of a cool $36 to $98.

“I really believe that as a designer, now we can do different things,” said Derek. “Accessibility is no longer the opposite of luxury.”

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