Project No More Runway: Anne Klein Axes Ready to Wear

toledos.jpgJust when we thought American apparel conglomerates were learning from their smarter and more sophisticated European cousins such as LVMH, where marquee designers and “star brands” fuel sales of everything from bejeweled key fobs to cognac, we’ve learned that corporate parent Jones New York has decided to shutter its Anne Klein ready-to-wear line. The collection was designed by Isabel Toledo, a 2005 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award winner for fashion and the wife of illustrator Ruben Toledo.

The news comes less than a year after Toledo’s first runway collection for Anne Klein, presented in February at New York Fashion Week. While Toledo’s inaugural collection was closely tied to the classic American sportswear aesthetic of the house’s founder, her spring 2008 collection, which we were lucky enough to catch on the Bryant Park Tent runway in September, showed more of Toledo’s crafty touches. Some of the collection’s most exuberantly colored pieces were inspired by her husband, who accidentally smeared paint on one of her dresses. “I loved it so much it inspired a series of one-of-a-kind pieces,” she said in September. “That’s what I call an ‘Art Attack.'” Alas, the spring collection won’t be produced, so if you happen to know the whereabouts of the runway sample of the “Wall Street Sun Dress” (that was look #10, and we’ll take it for the wonderfully oxymoronic name alone) or any of those “tarnished plisse” numbers, do drop us an e-mail.

No word as to what’s next for Toledo.