Behind the Scenes with Derek Lam 10C x Athleta: Meet the Designer
Derek Lam 10 Crosby VP of Design Liz Giardina in the samples room at Athleta HQ
We’re so excited about working with fashion icon Derek Lam and his NYC-based line Derek Lam 10 Crosby. It’s no accident that this is Athleta’s first-ever design collaboration, which will span three seasons with the Fall collection debuting September 9. We recently sat down with VP of Design Elizabeth Giardina at 10 Crosby to hear what inspired the looks and how the collaboration came to life. See the entire Derek Lam 10C x Athleta lineup right here.
Design sketches for Fall 2015
What excited you about this collaboration?
“I’m a very active person and was thrilled when I learned about our collaboration with Athleta. As a designer and a woman, I love that Athleta is a woman’s brand that’s inspired by, designed by and developed by women. Derek and I both felt strongly that the 10 Crosby aesthetic would be a good complement to Athleta’s expertise in performance and “athleisure”. We felt it was a great opportunity for two different companies to work together, learn from each other and create a line that women will feel great wearing, perform the way they need and want to have in their closets for a long time.”
“I love that Athleta is a woman’s brand – inspired by, designed by and developed by women.”
Behind the scenes at the Fall 2015 Derek Lam 10C x Athleta lookbook shoot in NYC
Fashion and fitness have really joined forces in the last few years. How was your approach different?
“We took a tailored, sophisticated approach to activewear and athleisure. Derek Lam 10C x Athleta is all about clothing that you can wear to and from the gym without screaming “I just came from the gym!” We worked closely with Athleta to bring technical components and properties to our twists on classic fabrics and silhouettes. I love that there is always an expert at Athleta – for instance, when we were designing and fitting a sports bra, there was a bra technical designer there to inform the process. We gave a lot of thought to sport details and using them in unexpected ways: from taped seams on leggings as a tuxedo stripe to seamless engineered performance garments. This collection is comprised of product that represents the best of our strengths – the 10 Crosby vision of modern wearable sportswear and Athleta’s expertise in women’s performance apparel.”
Clothes you can wear to and from the gym without screaming “I just came from the gym!”
Making final markups at an NYC photoshoot with Athleta Senior Creative Director Kiel Kong
Sample fittings with the Athleta production design team
How did you design with the active woman in mind?
“I lead an active life – I work long hours and I exercise a minimum of five times a week – running, dance and yoga. I have run marathons, done 60-day yoga challenges and love to incorporate fitness activities into my free time and vacations. I understand what it means to be a busy woman who prioritizes her health. So as a designer and an athletic woman, I feel like I truly know the customer – she wants her activewear and athleisure to be functional for her busy life, fit great, feel great and look fabulous. Throughout the design process I am always asking myself questions: Does the garment work for her busy lifestyle? Does it perform the way she needs? Does it fit and flatter her body? Will she feel great wearing it? Will she like how she looks? Whether she lives in Ohio or SoHo – it’s just about getting your head around who this woman is, her lifestyle and her needs.”
What was the inspiration behind the color palette?
“I looked at aerial photographs of great American cities – urban landscapes with green parks – think Manhattan with Central Park. From that inspiration came strong lines that flatter the body, graphic color blocking and clean crisp colors – black, white, sapphire, emerald and two tones of mélange gray.”
Left: Stripe Luxe Cashmere Sweater, Downtown Leather Short, Block Studio Capri; Center: 2 N 1 City Sweatshirt, Downtown Track Pant; Right: Block Avenue Tank, Block Studio Legging, 515 New Balance Downtown Sneaker
What’s your favorite piece from Derek Lam 10C x Athleta?
“We made a two-in-one parka that’s made of two pieces that can be worn separately or together. I love the versatility of the light, almost cape-like windbreaker on the outside and the cozy zip-up sweatshirt on the inside. I can’t wait to own that piece. It’s something I would stop someone on the street and ask “where did you get that?” It has been such a wonderful experience to design product that I want to work out in and wear to and from the gym.”
“It’s something I would stop someone on the street and ask ‘where did you get that?’”
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