Midcentury Redux

Swiss Clothier Akris Opens Shop in Aspen

The new boutique pays homage to a father of modern design, Alexander Girard.

By Cindy Hirschfeld June 1, 2018 Published in the Summer 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Akris’s bag tags replicate Girard’s wooden dolls.

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.

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