At 19 years old, four months after revealing her engagement to Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer wore a distinctive red black sheep sweater by the brand Warm & Wonderful. Truly a sartorial moment, the knit is firmly at the top of the list of Princess Diana’s many style moments. Once thought to be lost, the sweater is soon to be auctioned at Sotheby’s inaugural Fashion Icons sale and American accessories brand LeSportsac is marking the moment, partnering with Warm & Wonderful on a capsule collection of pieces, each a nod the iconic red knit with the black sheep.
Part of the New York-based brand’s Arc En Ciel range — an in-house collection that is created in partnership with Rowing Blazers’ Jack Carlson — the limited-edition collection, priced from $145 to $325, features a range of tongue-in-cheek yet practical bags and accessories, each showcasing the signature black sheep design.
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“The Warm & Wonderful project was a natural fit as a collaboration within our Arc En Ciel line. The reinterpretations were a marriage between Jack and our creative team here at our SoHo studio — and really nailed the spirit of subtle royal rebellion with this capsule,” said LeSportsac chief operating officer Thomas Becker.
“When I joined LeSportsac, working with Jack and his team was at the top of my list — since Jack’s understanding of our brand and heritage was a perfect marriage with what he does with his brands. I thought about how we structured Gamme Bleu for Thom Browne when I ran his business — and how that partnership and approach was different, but also powerful,” the executive said of plans for the Arc En Ciel project.
Collaborations are core to the LeSportsac DNA, being an early adopter of the brand partnership model with a mix of marquee brands including Stella McCartney, Jonathan Adler, Diane von Furstenberg, and their famed collaboration with Gwen Stefani “that gave birth to L.A.M.B.,” Becker said. He noted, though, that times have changed for the way collaborations work. “Today is a more crowded time, and the proliferation of collaborations in the market has created a lot of noise.”
He continued, “The Gen Z consumer that has been marketed to their entire lives is adept at discerning fabricated truths. Our approach, which you can see with Arc En Ciel, is to give more space and time for creativity and partnership. We’re more interested in creative partnerships with brands with aligned interests and values than just putting another IP on our product.”
Over the next two seasons Becker said to expect expect tight, elevated capsules “marrying Jack’s twisted prep with everyday street chic style. We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon, as we move towards our 50th anniversary next year.”
But before that, the brand will make a mark at New York Fashion Week, “debuting a new multiseason partnership on the runway — so expect continued unexpected, but understandable creativity from us as we move towards our next 50 years,” he said.
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