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New collection: IMPROVD's dark simplicity

August 31, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Imp "Avant-garde basics" is how designer Valentino Vettori describes his new collection, IMPROVD, adding, "I didn't want women to have to think about how to put the pieces on. I wanted them to be avant-garde but simple."

Vettori, a 10-year veteran of Diesel’s design team, recently launched the wearable, chic collection with another industry insider, Sam Ben-Avraham, founder of the well-known Atrium boutique in New York and the Project Global Tradeshow.

And while the pared-down edginess of the line renders it infinitely wearable, there's another element to love -- its reasonable prices. Tops start at $60 on the low end, with leather jackets running around $500 on the high end. The collection is available at Madison Et Cie and EM & Co. in Los Angeles.

Accessible pricing "is a must," said Vettori. "It's the base -- the whole point of the brand." As a former showroom owner who imported pricey European lines, "I was seeing all this new avant-garde all the time, and every time I picked up something I liked, it was $2,000. It was ridiculous. You make a raw-edge cut and it automatically has to be expensive? I wanted to position myself as an amazing product at an amazing price for a generation that understands the avant-garde."

The fall collection is full of moody pieces wrought in black and gray -- body-conscious printed dresses, shrunken leather jackets and a kimono-wrapped puffer coat among them.

As for the label's name (pronounced "improved"), Vettori says it's a reference to improving his life and his work. He also likes that it could be misread as "improv-ed." After all, he said, "fashion is improvising."

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: A look from IMPROVD's fall collection