September 08, 2013 New York
Sherman, who helped launch The Row and was design director of T by Alexander Wang for the past five years, has approached her first position at the top in a decidedly different way from her predecessors. And the initial results are more than promising. To start, she has an opinion. About everything. "The fit, the fabrication, the logo—we're redefining it all," said the designer just days before her Spring runway show. "For me, it's about creating clothes that women want to wear."
Sherman's new definition of Edun is about "flattening" the silhouette: shirts, blazers and coats are collarless, given dimension through piping on pajama blouses and a handwoven basket weave on a crop top. That cropped shell was worn over a loose tank and a pair of louche box-pleat trousers in white, which were printed with rows and rows of right triangles in brown (a color designers often seem afraid to use). Deep-slit wrap skirts were slung low on the waist and many were done in a rich, rusty leather, some handwoven to create a graphic checkerboard. Sherman was also intent on slicing up the side seams of T-shirts—it lets the wearer tuck the front in and leave the back loose. High side slits on long, straight skirts—again in white—were also prevalent, made to look more nomadic than sexy paired with matching Birkenstocks. A standout long skirt was a stretch-viscose white crepe with rust-colored leather stripes going up those side slits; they gave it an almost collegiate appeal.
To be sure, Edun's altruistic intentions remain, and Sherman is working with artisans throughout the world to create the wares she wants. The designer visited Africa earlier this summer to get the company's factories there on track with her new vision. And that influence can still be felt, especially in the jewelry—like a horn and crystal neck cuff—or the baja hoodies done in leather and knitted mélange rope. In the past, Edun sat on the contemporary floor at department stores; this new collection will be upper-contemporary, or, as Barneys is now calling it, "development." It reflects the new level of prestige Sherman has brought to the brand—finally, the strength of Edun's clothes will match the strength of its mission.