Here’s All the Fashion News You Missed this Week

L.L. Bean is Launching Standalone Stores in Canada

If you, like me, spent hours of your childhood flipping though the L.L. Bean catalog that your mom received dutifully in the mail each month, then you’ll be delighted to learn that the maker of everyone’s favourite indestructible rubber duck boots will be launching standalone stores in Canada as early as spring 2019. In addition, the brand recently debuted a Canadian e-commerce site offering Canadian pricing and duties up front which makes the process of ordering from the country far more transparent. “We’ve historically had an active and loyal customer base in Canada,” said Steve Smith, President and CEO of L.L. Bean. “Developing a true omnichannel presence that includes a wholesale component, as well as new brick and mortar retail stores and a dedicated Canadian website will give our Canadian customers a better overall L.L. Bean experience.” No word on where the stores will be, but we’re following developments closely. (Press release)

Olivier Rousteing Announces Balmain Will Return to the Couture Calendar

Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing has announced that the Parisian label will return to the couture calendar after a 16-year absence. The last Balmain couture collection was presented all the way back in 2002, when Oscar de la Renta was still creative director. It’s a bold move for the brand albeit one that feels strikingly familiar. In January of this year, Rousteing debuted 44 François Premier, an eveningwear collection that was pegged as demi-couture. The name was a throw to the street address of the brand’s original couture workshop under founder Pierre Balmain. Seems like this is a plan that must’ve been on Rousteing’s mind for a long time. (WWD)

Is the Streetwear Bubble Ready to Burst?

“As the dominant facet of 21st-century fashion, streetwear has come to define and be defined by the fervor with which it is coveted by adoring fans and cunning resellers the world over,” Douglas Brundage writes in HighSnobiety. However, the author goes on to cite excess inventory, overinflated retail prices and waning online communities as possible reasons why streetwear’s ubiquitous reign might be on the way out. In the past, streetwear’s allure came from the fact it existed outside the fashion system, and now that it has been co-opted by mainstream fashion, like punk and so many subcultures before it, streetwear has effectively been tainted by its own hype. Either way, there’s no real way to know if this theory is correct or not – bubbles are usually only identified once they’ve already burst. (HighSnobiety)

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Pharrell is Designing a Capsule Collection for Chanel

Pharrell Williams, he of the Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat and preternaturally ageless face, will be designing a capsule collection for Chanel. According to a press release, the Happy singer and former Kanye collaborator has already worked with Chanel on a multitude of projects – he composed the soundtrack for the brand’s short film Reincarnation in 2014 and was the face of their Metiers d’art campaign the same year — which suggests the collaboration is a natural fit. No details have been released on what the collection will look like but we suspect it will be full of Pharell’s buoyant optimism and childlike aesthetic (remember his A Bathing Ape phase?) The collection will arrive first in Chanel’s flagship boutique in Seoul, South Korea on March 29th, and the rest of the world on April 4th. (Press Release)