Anne Klein, who died in 1974, was a forceful proponent of smart, fashionable, well-made clothes for working women (a philosophy she passed on to her former design assistant Donna Karan). But the past few years have seen several changes in direction for the company she founded, which has lost ground as a result.
Now, with new ownership and a new design director, Charles Nolan, the house is hoping to reclaim its rightful place in executive wardrobes. Nolan came to Anne Klein from Ellen Tracy, another bastion of career clothes, so he knows what works in a boardroom and what doesn't. No micro-minis, no sheer tops; instead, he offered a solid series of items like A-line leather skirts, short shearling jackets, crisply creased trousers and tweed three-quarter coats. Styles were fitted, but never supertight, and the color palette stuck close to tones of mocha, cream, white, black and navy.
Busy women like to look good, of course, but Nolan knows they also like to save time; to cut down on agonizing decision-making, he showed all his looks, even a slinky white jersey evening dress with black stiletto snakeskin boots.