Olivier Theyskens Explains Why He’s Designing For Theory

When news broke Wednesday night that Olivier Theyskens had been tapped to design a capsule collection for Theory, the first word out of almost everybody’s mouth was, “Why?” Theory is known for their no-nonsense approach to fashion and median-priced office staples, while Theyskens is known for his vampy, often Victorian, and beautiful red carpet aesthetic, but also for, as Jezebel’s Jenna Sauers put it, “his inability or unwillingness to design anything less than astronomically expensive clothes.”

Though Fashionista postulated that the Theory-Theyskens collaboration was the brainchild of Theory CEO Andrew Rosen, who is known for “taking an interest in–and investing in–promising designers,” both partners had remained mum, until now. Blogger Susie Bubble attended a bookstore signing for Theyskens’ and Julien Claessens new tome, “The Other Side of the Picture” and had the chance to speak to the designer about his new plans. Naturally, Bubble asked him, “Why Theory?”

For a long time, I’ve been looking for a way of working with affordable fashion. I think Theory is the right brand to do this. It was a big intuition for me to do this Theyskens/Theory project – I’m super excited by it! I think today, you can find great things at a great price. As a designer, I’m not a guy that can be put in a niche. I’m a guy who can also put his mind to something more global and accessible. Also, I’ve always been hoping that my friends can buy what I design.

Well, we’ve also always been hoping that Theyskens would design something we could buy, so that’s nice — but we do find it hard to believe that Theyskens’ interest in going mass-market was the driving force. Just a few weeks ago, Theory announced they’d hired a Director of Communications and Celebrity which sounds like it entails getting celebs to wear the clothes, so Theyskens’ red-carpet know-how could come in very handy. And in light of Theyskens’ — for lack of a better word — joblessness and Rosen’s past patronage, we think it’s safe to say that Theory made this partnership happen.

But when all is said and done, “Theyskens for Theory” certainly has a very nice ring to it.

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