TEAM WORK: Han Chong, the designer behind the popular contemporary label Self Portrait, alongside Robert Clergerie’s designer Roland Mouret and chief executive officer Perry Oosting, took over Matchesfashion.com’s Marylebone townhouse on Tuesday, to celebrate their second footwear collaboration and an exclusive capsule created for the British retailer.
Building on the success of the two labels’ inaugural collaboration collection of block-heeled pumps, loafers and slip-on sneakers, Chong created the “Leyla” sandals for fall, a more elevated, evening-appropriate option featuring the line’s signature buckled straps and grosgrain ribbons in a palette of lighter colors from dusty pink, to red and navy.
The sandals retail for 490 pounds, or $612, and are stocked exclusively on Matchesfashion.com.
Despite the addition of a higher mirrored heel, Chong said his focus remained on comfort which lies at the heart of Clergerie’s ethos.
“There were a lot of things that I wanted to do in terms of footwear, but when I started working with Clergerie, I realized that technically they are not possible,” said Chong. “I learned so much about the process of making shoes and how to make them sexy and comfortable for women, customers would come back and say that those were the most comfortable shoes they’ve ever worn. So we focused on developing those signature styles from the first range, but this time I wanted to have more color.” He added that he is looking forward to launching the rest of the fall range later this year, particularly an ankle boot style featuring a variety of colors and textures.
The labels will continue their partnership for resort 2017, which will be the last collection they produce together.
Chong plans to continue exploring categories in order to build his woman’s wardrobe. Since launching his label in 2013, the demand for his midpriced, feminine evening dresses has been ongoing and the designer is looking to add more separates to his range, as well as accessories. For spring 2016, the label’s deconstructed, ruffle-trimmed shirts have been growing in popularity and featuring heavily in retailers’ edits, which range from Matches, to Selfridges, Harrods, Net-a-porter and Moda Operandi.
“It’s an oversaturated market, so it’s important to stay focused and not loose sight of your initial vision,” said the designer. “I design to make women feel great not for my own creative pursuits, so I’m always thinking of what she wants next and I build her wardrobe for her. We’re adding more separates, our knitwear has been receiving great feedback and of course, footwear is definitely something I’m interested in developing further in the future.”
From his part Perry Oosting, Clergerie’s newly appoint ceo, said he was drawn to Chong’s creativity and the new perspective it could offer to the heritage label.
“The partnership was successful in combining our specialty in shoes with Han’s creativity and vision on shoes. It’s a short marriage but a very good a marriage,” said Oosting, adding that he plans to pursue further collaborations with “a wide range of designers” in the future.
Oosting also said he was drawn to Matches’ omnichannel approach.
“First of all hats off to Matches, they came from a small store in Wimbledon and now they are an empire,” added Oosting. “They have a great outlook of what’s happening in the market and also the physical locations for us to host events like this one, that’s why we discussed doing an exclusive capsule all together.”