In her first season, Ports 1961's new womenswear creative director Natasa Cagalj opened up the possibilities for the brand in terms of style and functionality.
Lace cocktail ensembles, mohair animal print sweaters and pompom-trimmed tunics were just a few elements that evidenced changes in the design strategy, widely known for clean, minimalist urban chic styles.
"I took this job because I thought we could create something special together and not because I wanted to follow anybody else," Cagalj told NOWFASHION at the fall/winter 2015 women's presentation.
"I just want to start with certain cores of this business like the shirt, and create my own vision that is not age defined or image defined," Cagalj added, noting that she tackled Ports 1961's trademark crisp white shirt in her first season, transforming it into an interchangeable piece that can be worn as a tunic or front-fastened kimono.
Slovenia-native Cagalj, who studied under the revered Louise Wilson at Central Saint Martins, replaces Fiona Cibani, who held the role for four years. She made a name for herself as head of design for Stella McCartney until 2012. She has also worked with Nino Cerruti and alongside Alber Elbaz at Lanvin.
In July, Ports 1961 also tapped Milan Vukmirovic as creative director for menswear, marking a whole new chapter for the brand that is focusing on expanding its menswear and newly launched accessories line.
“Natasa is an incredibly talented individual and creative force. Her vision is perfectly in line with the Ports 1961 woman,” said Cibani in December. “I’m very excited to have Natasa on board and I strongly feel it’s time for a new chapter in the evolution of Ports 1961. This is a long-term decision.”