Successful US designer Derek Lam was destined to be involved in the fashion industry from an early age. Born into a Chinese American family in San Francisco in 1967, his parents ran a successful business importing clothing from Asia, and his grandparents owned a clothing factory that specialised in bridal clothing. From an early age, Derek would often sit with the factory’s seamstresses, watching them work on the beautiful garments.
Since graduating from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in 1990, Derek has been at the forefront of the New York fashion scene. After 12 years as a designer at Michael Kors, Derek started his own successful label in 2003, debuting at New York Fashion Week and expanding his collection’s range in 2006 to include handbags, and in 2007, shoes and eyewear.
Derek’s work has not been short of recognition within the industry. Winning the CFDA Perry Ellis-Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Womanswear in 2005, he was also winner of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Prize. 2006 saw him exhibit at the collection of significant New York fashion at London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum, and in 2007 at the CFDA Awards, he won Accessory Designer of the Year.
Rooted in contemporary culture, and a love of art and architecture, Derek’s work is a daring mix of sensual luxurious fabrics combined with a clean, crisp and minimal design, resulting in feminine but functional collections. “I always consider what will work for women at this moment, and to me this moment is about luxury without formality”.
The industry expects Derek Lam to go from strength-to-strength in 2014, with news of a significant investment from a leading private equity firm that has links to his long-time associate Domenico De Sole, alongside a successful New York Fashion Week.