Once upon a time in the late seventies, Christian Restoin—the longtime partner of Carine Roitfeld—married the aesthetics of Network and disco with a line of breezy silk menswear-styled shirts for women called Equipment. Throughout the eighties and nineties, they were the linchpin day-to-night item in a smart city girl’s wardrobe. For a label to shutter because of family and business politics, as happened here, is a familiar nineties story. But it’s a promising one Equipment’s telling for the aughts: The line relaunches for Spring 2010.
Last night, Becka Diamond hosted the long-awaited unveiling at Saks, where designers Rebecca Minkoff and Victor Glemaud and stylist Keegan Singh stopped by to check out the action. Serge Azria—brother of Max, owner of Current/Elliott and Joie, and now informal “guardian” of Equipment—attended both the cocktail party and the intimate dinner that followed at Indochine. “Everyone here is too young to remember the original line,” he said, gesturing at the youthful attendees around him. “But ask your mothers—they will remember Equipment! And I guarantee you they loved it.” He reveals that Restoin, who remains connected to the newly relaunched brand, has kept every Equipment shirt ever created in his Paris archives—all 3,500 of them. Meanwhile, the 135 new Equipment styles do the brand’s “new vintage” legacy justice and integrate seamlessly into the tailored, menswear-inspired trends hitting New York’s runways this week. That’s something mothers and daughters alike can appreciate.
Equipment is currently available exclusively at Saks, and will come to Barneys later this spring.