News & Runway

Five Top-Notch Designer Diffusion Lines

Red Valentino Spring Summer 2011 three quarter sleeve cardigan and matching skirt

Derek Lam is one busy designer. Not only did he recently unveil his eBay collaboration, but he also announced he’s coming out with a diffusion line.

The spinoff, 10 Crosby, will join the long line of diffusion offerings by high-profile designers. Shoe designer Brian Atwood rolled out his second line, B Brian Atwood earlier this year, while Balmain’s getting set to launch a ready-to-wear diffusion collection. Matthew Williamson, even though he’s already partnered with retailers like H&M and Macy’s, will also introduce Muse by Matthew Williamson. Designer offshoots are certainly nothing new. Prada has Miu Miu, which has earned its own reputation and star following since it first appeared in 1992 even with high-end style price tags.

Here’s a sampling of the best designer diffusions.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 Colorblocked CDC Dress


Marc Jacobs has managed to set up an enduring extension with Marc by Marc Jacobs. Although the difference in price points from his original line are arguably minimal, the collection which originated in 2001 does offer more everyday-type pieces. Take the colorblocked CDC dress with deep-v halter neckline and contrast banded circle skirt from Spring 2011 for $598. It might not seem like a steal, but just compare to Marc Jacobs merchandise which can run as much as $1200. The line’s available through and Net-a-Porter.

See by Chloé

See by Chloe Fall 2011 Viscose dressSee by Chloe Summer 2011 Cotton shirt and shorts in Indian zoo print


Another brand that successfully introduced a sister line back in 2001 is Chloé. See by Chloé plays up the casual side of the French fashion house, offering items like the viscose dress with cats & trees print from the Fall 2011 collection or the matching cotton shirt and shorts in the Indian zoo print from Summer 2011. Customers can expect to shell out up to $995 shopping the line at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom, which is definitely a markdown from the several thousands of dollars required for a Chloé original.

RED Valentino

Red Valentino Spring Summer 2011 three quarter sleeve cardigan and matching skirtRed Valentino Spring Summer 2011 leather jacket and shorts


Romantic Eccentric Dress or RED Valentino launched back in 2004. The Valentino diffusion carries all the romanticism of the brand, and has a brilliant cohesive appeal. The three-quarter sleeved lamé fabric knit cardigan corresponds wonderfully with the worked cotton skirt featuring lurex inlays. There are also leather jackets, sleek shorts and fun accessories. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1600 for the line at RED Valentino boutiques, Net-a-Porter, and high-end department stores.

Richard Chai Love

Richard Chai Love Fall 2011Richard Chai Love Spring 2011


Richard Chai established his secondary line, Richard Chai Love, just in time for the Spring 2010 season. The lower-priced collection can be found at staples like Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue. Pick up everything from a maxi to a fantastically gold embellished top to easy sheer pieces ideal for spring and summer. Prices can go as high as $850.

Z Spoke

Z Spoke Spring 2011Z Spoke Resort 2011


Zac Posen’s Z Spoke collection just premiered last year with prices ranging from $78 all the way to $675 and is available exclusively through Saks Fifth Avenue. The intricate folds on the bodice and skirt of the plaster corded jacquard dress from the Spring 2011 collection work effortlessly alongside the lace and faux snakeskin trim. The avant garde knit cardigan and macadamia canvas satchel are great accessories, while the Resort 2011 mint crepe jumpsuit is pure lounge perfection.