Before Hedi Slimane, there was Christophe Lemaire. In fact, Slimane used to work for him.Don't know if you remember or even heard of Lemaire. The designer was the department head of haute couture and prêt-à-porter at Christian Lacroix before deciding to create his own label in 1990. Lemaire, his namesake label was first found with modern dressing approach in slim silhouettes which drew major attention within the fashion circle. His then considerably alternative style was welcomed by fans in Paris, Asia and Japan where he had and still has huge following. After S/S 2002, he was chosen to become the creative director of Lacoste as Giles Rosier’s successor. The main task the stylist received was to develop a new image of the company to attract new and younger buyers without losing old ones. And as all his collections had been a total success since 2002, he expanded Lacoste clothing line with new collection of yachting wear developed exclusively for the skipper Loick Peyron. He brought new blood into the company, having colored classically white sporty tennis skirts, collegiate sweaters, piqued polos, and brought Lacoste back onto fashion scene.
Lemaire presented a new men’s wear collection for S/S 2004 in 2003 and the line was a commercial success. However, he kind of positions himself out of the radar, don't know if this is a deliberate gesture or not, but since he coming back to Hong Kong where Maria Luisa starts to carry this winter, I just checked and found this utterly stylish Parisian collection. To me it could easily compete with Chloé, Isabel Marant or Phillip Lim; and make other French brands like Paul & Joe, A.P.C., See by Chloé etc to shame. I'm really liking it, what a surprise! It's highly recommended, totally.