Lacoste's main man has a solo moment with Lemaire. By Ryan Haase
There's one item you won't find in the new sportswear line, Lemaire—a polo shirt. This is no small omission, considering the designer, Christophe Lemaire, is by day the creative director of Lacoste. But Lemaire comes from a wholly different section of the designer's sketchbook. "At Lacoste, I'm immersed in their universe, there is a very strong brand DNA," he says. "At Lemaire, I'm starting from a blank page, everything is linked to my personal sensibilities and it is a lot more introverted. It's like therapy."
Designing the new label has reconnected Lemaire with his musical roots. In 1985, before making clothes, he spent nights DJing in Paris clubs. "The music scene always had so much more style than the fashion scene," he says. "It was more spontaneous, more free." He left the turntables, however, to work for Yves Saint Laurent and then Christian Lacroix. He started his first line, Christophe Lemaire, in 1990, but later shuttered it after joining Lacoste in 2000. "I didn't want to let 'Christophe Lemaire' go to waste, though. I still felt like I had something to say." As a result, he re-launched the co-ed label last year.
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