September 14, 2008 BY CAPSULESNEWS

2442---article-image.jpgAs the news of Thom Browne’s plans to show in Florence spread last week, the influential designer also revealed that Moncler, the French skiwear brand beloved by the fashion flock, has tapped him to design a new men’s collection called Gamme Bleu (French for “blue range”). DNR has also learned that Browne is developing items for the home, including champagne glasses.  Gamme Bleu will combine Browne’s singular Anglo-American sartorial style with Moncler’s sportif heritage. Unlike Moncler’s prior collaboration with designer Junya Watanabe, Gamme Bleu will not be co-branded with Browne’s name. It will be the male counterpart to Gamme Rouge, Moncler’s women’s line designed by Giambattista Valli, who replaced Alessandra Facchinetti in the role when she went to Valentino.  Gamme Rouge prices range from $2,500 to $7,000, while Moncler’s mainline outerwear costs about $850 to $2,000. Gamme Bleu prices will probably not be as high as those of Gamme Rouge, since the men’s line will not have the same degree of costly decoration, but will be comparable, according to Moncler chairman and creative director Remo Ruffini. This brand strategy resembles that of Browne’s collaboration with Brooks Brothers, called Black Fleece. That union is lauded partly because Browne’s aesthetic is highly influenced by mid-century Brooks Brothers. (dnr)