Back in 1976, women’s fashion was on a roll, driven by a flourishing yet cautious ready-to-wear industry. Smocks, blouses and tunics were all the rage…a flurry of silhouettes that Christian Restoin would set out to revolutionize. Possessing a distinct taste level and discerning eye for style, Restoin introduced men’s shirts into women’s wardrobes with the launch of his brand Equipment - transforming a men’s classic into an item of women’s clothing with glam appeal. Straightforward yet innovative, Equipment, characterized by its refined tailoring and timeless appeal, quickly became a recognized name amongst the fashion elite. Drawing his inspiration from American films of the 50s, from stars such as Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall (who became one of his clients); the menswear inspired shirts became a worldwide success. Committed to maintaining the quality and simplicity of the brand, Restoin chose to specialize in shirts and nothing but shirts – letting the product speak for itself rather than laboring under delusions of grandeur. But after enjoying twenty years of the brands success, Restoin moved on, wishing to pursue another phase of his career.
In Spring 2010, Serge Azria, a visionary and well known name in the industry, who also owns the successful fashion lines JOIE and Current/Elliott, re-launched the illustrious brand as CEO and Creative Director. Known for his cunning eye and distinct knowledge of the fashion landscape, Azria saw a void in the contemporary women’s marketplace for a luxury shirt brand that catered to the modern woman.
Staying true to its heritage, the collection recalls the classic, minimalistic undertones of the Equipment brand, fusing unparalleled French sophistication with an air of effortlessly chic style. Timeless and innovative, the collection features modern, androgynous silhouettes, discreet sexiness, luxe fabrics, unexpected details and feminine riffs on men’s shirting. The range of prints, fabrics and silhouettes complement the many facets of the Equipment woman: she is strong, chic, elegant, adventurous, sexy and above all, classic.
Under Serge Azria’s creative direction, Equipment has quickly become the must have item amongst fashions most notable tastemakers. With endless opportunity for growth, Azria is successfully broadening Equipment’s presence and expertise beyond silk shirts with the introduction of specialty items including pajama sets, shirt dresses and silk tee shirts. Fall 2012 marked the launch of Equipment’s cashmere collection. A natural progression for the brand, the cashmere collection is the perfect counterpart to the Equipment shirt, a timeless classic and wardrobe staple.
Adding to his portfolio, Azria has introduced Equipment Homme to the men’s market for Holiday 2012 with a new collection of men’s cashmere. Adhering to the brands minimalist approach, the knitwear collection is comprised of just three silhouettes - a v-neck, cardigan and crew neck. Looking ahead, Spring 2013 will offer a complete collection of silk shirts and cashmere - carving a niche in the men’s market.
Equipment opened its first free standing flagship location in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in December 2012, followed by a West Coast location in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood neighborhood on Melrose Place. The boutiques house all of the Equipment collections along with limited edition collaborations. As part of this retail growth, Equipment also launched an e-commerce website in February 2012.
Inspired and manifesting a modern perspective, the collection is infused with a freshness that propels the tried and true classic into the future of fashion. This contemporary approach taken on the signature pieces pays homage to the legacy of the brand while maintaining the perfect balance of cool, understated elegance.