>> As previously suggested, relative newcomer Jeffrey Monteiro, an alum of Jane Mayle and Derek Lam with a year-old collection of his own under his belt, is the newest design director at Bill Blass. He was chosen from among 100 applicants and starts in January with the intention of bringing a high-end Bill Blass collection back to stores next Winter.
New brand owners Bill Blass Group let the label lay fallow since purchasing it last year, allowing half of the 20 licensees to expire. According to Group president Scott Patti, “There was not a lot of business left out there, so it kind of cleaned itself up.”
Patti noted that Monteiro, the fifth designer to take over the label since Bill Blass retired in 1999, was chosen because “he’s very low-key and realistic. Bill Blass designed real clothes, and that’s what Jeffrey does as well.” Monteiro, for his part, was mum on what he has in mind for the brand, only telling the New York Times that his idea customer is a young professional woman and that he was thinking about colors based on the paintings of Clyfford Still. “The challenge is to take something that has such weight and nostalgia and make it modern and fresh."