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Derek Lam's Good Taste

The designer weighs in on puppies, platforms and how he stays relaxed during Fashion Week.

derek lam

Derek Lam

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Always on the move, Derek Lam, who teamed up with Schwartz & Benjamin last year to expand his footwear offerings, recently added diffusion line 10 Crosby Derek Lam. “It’s a slow build to create a space and validity for the shoe collections,” the designer said. “While we have shown several seasons of shoes to the buyers, we are [just] getting traction at retail, so building on that momentum will be the focus for the next few seasons.” Although Lam is knee-deep in preparations for spring ’14 Fashion Week, he has found time to dive into a different sort of project: promoting “Poetry by Derek Lam,” a limited-edition wine blended in collaboration with Cliff Lede Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. “[It] was an unexpected but totally interesting project,” he said of the cabernet sauvignon, available in October. “To create a wine, which may seem [completely different from] creating fashion, actually has many parallels. The most exciting intersection is that [each] comes from a passion for imagination and creativity.” Lam also revealed his take on platforms, puppies and the secret to achieving Fashion Week zen.

One item everyone should have in their closet: “A clean white shirt is a must for every man, [and] a beautiful white blouse should be in every woman’s wardrobe.”

Platform shoes — in or out?
In. “There is always a woman who wants that extra bit of height that a platform sole provides. Making the styling look fresh is the challenge.”

Favorite animal:
“My dog, Roscoe. He’s only six months old, so such a puppy, but what a joy he is to have in my life.”

Current read: “‘Zealot: The Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth’ by Reza Aslan”

Fashion Week mantra: “I try not to stress at all. By that time, [the collection] is pretty much done and it has to be shown, so getting nuts about something is unproductive. My motto: ‘If you tried your best, it is what it is.’”

Must-have wardrobe items:
“James Perse and SeaVees slip-on canvas shoes.”