“An inspiring combination of beauty, intelligence and a little sense of humor is what the ICB girl is all about.”
- Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung was born in Singapore, raised in Nepal, studied fashion in New Delhi and launched his first collection in New York; so it’s not surprising that the next stepping stone in his already accomplished career—CFDA nod included—is called “International Concept Brand.”
ICB, as it’s known, has a cult following in Japan and Asia but has not been available in the U.S. since early 2000. This fall, it’s making its U.S. comeback with Prabal at the helm. But we haven’t even told you the best part: The new collection, which is available exclusively at Barneys New York, is unquestioningly Prabal-esque—think feminine silhouettes, vivid prints, paneled construction and luxe fabrics—but the price tags won’t induce an ounce of post-purchase guilt. How can you say no to that?
Below, get the scoop from Prabal himself, then scoot on over to Barneys.com to snag yourself an ICB ensemble or two before they’re all gone.
What was your first reaction upon being asked to design for ICB?
I was excited to have the opportunity to design an affordable collection for a younger woman without compromising on the quality.
Tell us about about this first collection—the mood, the palette, the materials.
The mood is very strong and vibrant; I wanted to convey without being too serious. I juxtaposed structured tailoring with fluid fabrics and developed the kaleidoscope and melting lace prints for a dose of femininity.
And what was your inspiration for the collection?
The inspiration came from the girl. The polished, downtown 20- or 30-something who takes fashion risks but wants to look pulled together. I drew a lot of inspiration from my friends and the women I see throughout the streets of New York.
Who is the quintessential ICB girl?
I would say an inspiring combination of beauty, intelligence and a little sense of humor is what the ICB girl is all about.
What are some design trademarks your signature line and ICB share?
I have always been very aware of the importance of detail. Even at a different price point you see this well translated to the ICB collection. I also work with bold prints and pops of color. This season is very reflective of that.
What is unique to ICB?
The Japanese heritage of the brand.
What made you decide to do an online runway show?
I recognize the impact that digital media is having on our industry and am always looking for new ways to use it. The girl I design this collection for gets a lot of her fashion inspiration from blogs and websites and shops online so it was a logical choice to show on a digital platform.
Were you excited to see Malia Obama in one of your designs?
Of course! She went for one of the brightest, boldest prints! Love that confidence.
Why is ICB a good fit for the Barneys customer?
The bold colors and prints are ideal for the Barneys customer who has a strong sense of style and takes risks with fashion.
What was the last thing that inspired you?
Walking the streets of New York offers new and exciting inspiration daily.
We hear you’re quite the karaoke fan—what’s your go-to song?
Completely depends on my mood!
1. Small brushstroke print dress 2. Tiered skirt dress 3. Tiered printed lace dress 4. Kaleidoscope dress 5. Mix paneled skirt 6. Leather dress 7. Brushstroke dress 8. Fur bottom coat 9. Long sleeve lace shirt
Image courtesy of ICB.