Fashion house creative directors draw inspiration from many sources, but when that source is an iconic midcentury American designer, the coolness factor amps up considerably. That’s the case with Swiss luxury label Akris’s spring/summer clothing, for which Creative Director Albert Kriemler incorporated prints by prolific designer Alexander Girard, known for his vivid graphics and colors. In Aspen, the new Akris pop-up boutique, slated to open in early June at 625 E. Hyman Ave., will showcase the line.
Though not as well known as some of his peers, Girard is revered by true fans of midcentury design. An architect by training, he most famously created textiles for furniture maker Herman Miller in the 1950s, working with George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames. Girard also designed houses, commercial interiors, furniture, tableware, and typography, and was an authoritative folk art collector (he eventually donated more than 100,000 pieces to a Santa Fe museum).
After viewing an exhibition dedicated to the designer, Kriemler decided to incorporate elements of his signature prints into women’s clothing and accessories, collaborating with two of Girard’s grandchildren. Upping the midcentury modern vibe another notch, the Aspen boutique will include furniture from Swiss retailer Vitra.
Kriemler wasn’t one and done with the Girard influence, either. After spending time in Santa Fe, where the late designer lived for many years, he drew on the desert landscapes and colors for Akris’s pre-fall collection.