Ports 1961 opens a new chapter
Ports 1961 is making a comeback. The Chinese-Canadian luxury ready-to-wear brand has taken on a new team. It has chosen to make its return in Milan, despite its absence from the Italian runway since 2016, having opted to show in London over the past few seasons. Ports 1961 has planned to return during Milan’s next fashion week, on Sunday, February 23.
The upcoming show is part of a deep reorganization strategy that began last summer. Ports 1961 hired Karl Templer, the British stylist with experience across multiple fashion magazines, to head its womenswear collections. Other additions include Fabien Baron, the French photographer, who has created the brand's new identity and logo, with his team Baron & Baron. And finally Michela Piva, who has joined the Italian team to oversee the business’ global strategy.
The first step in the brand’s comeback was the radical renovation of the flagship store in Paris by the architect Enrica Pinna. The brand then made its mark in London with the presentation of a spring-summer 2020 collection. Released in September, these changes broke away from the chic, minimalist attitude that had characterized the label thus far.
Similar in style to Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Ports 1961’s new ready-to-wear line is more youthful, playing with colors and with a unisex edge. A strong emphasis has been placed on accessories.
With Kaia Gerber as the face of its first campaign, the Canadian brand is pulling out all the stops for its comeback. Photographed by the famous Steven Meisel, Gerber is accompanied by several other young talents.
The menswear collection, on the other hand, was discontinued. The Ports V line was launched in parallel with Milan Vukmirovic at the helm. The unisex collection, first launched in 2018, offers accessible fashion with a "see now buy now" distribution strategy. Exclusively distributed in China, the brand will be following a more traditional rhythm now, with two collections per year, according to the creator.
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