Gar-de Brings the Collective Concept Back in Fashion


Here's a question for the ages: Can fashionistas quell their egos and work in communal harmony? That's the goal of design collectives, and the last time we saw a budding one gain acclaim (As Four) was years back. But it seems we have a new one on our hands. Gar-de, a four-member group (Christopher Viggiano, Jonathan Delagarde, Jiminie Ha, and Ken Li), formed in 2007 in response to all the fast fashion and disposable clothing inundating the market. Each member serves a purpose within the collective: "Jiminie specializes in graphics and branding; Jonathan and Chris are specialists in apparel design, and Ken handles most of the production and planning," Ken Li explained. That's not to say this communal group doesn't have their own viewpoints. "We all have strong individual ideas about fashion, and coming together to start our own line just happened organically through years of talking about our ideas about fashion. We all help each other out to make things happen." And they try to work together on things so "the whole is greater than the parts." So ... communal! The response thus far to the outerwear-heavy line has been more than positive. The buttery leathers, waxed cottons, and yes, latex pieces, are sold in Barneys and 30 other stores, and Agyness Deyn and Kristen Stewart are fans. So if you spot crazy Twihards in amazing leather this winter, you'll now know why. Check out some of their fall pieces.