By Matthew Schneier
is internationalism incarnate. He’s always had an eye on fashion—maybe it’s more appropriate to say “dress”—from a global perspective. He is the rare designer who will say with a straight face, pointing to a flannel T-shirt and matching triple-pleat pants, his so-called daily pajama, “I wouldn’t mind if people see a reference to eighties Japan.” A walk-through with Lemaire inevitably invokes references to Chinese workwear from the Mao era, Middle Eastern nomads, and Western New Wave musicians.
It’s a quality that made him a smart choice for Hermès, which makes its super-luxury pitch to the perennial traveler. But it’s also a quality that can make his namesake line, where he indulges it fully, a bit obscure to shoppers weaned on jeans and T-shirts. (After several years in business, Lemaire finally introduced his own jeans a season or two ago.) For Fall, by his own admission, he…