PARIS — Adapting to tumultuous times, Atlein has adjusted production and lowered prices by 20 percent, offering an example of how a small, independent label is navigating the crisis.
“The COVID-19 hit like a tsunami,” said Antonin Tron, whose label got a lift from winning the ANDAM fashion prize in 2018.
“It’s OK, we’re getting back up,” he added, before launching into his plans on a Zoom call with WWD.
The designer presents his first collection in nearly a year on Monday — he has pared collections down to two a year and, as part of his process of rethinking things, redesigned his logo.
He came to the realization that producing locally, in France, was costly and so he is now working with production sites in Portugal — a place he has enjoyed visiting, he said, noting an openness in the market. An avid surfer — a key source of influence on his designs — he also appreciated its coastline.
“For a very long time, I fought to keep things local, made in France. Today this is impossible for an independent brand,” he said. “It was way too expensive.”
He has also simplified his process in terms of cuts and volumes. The price reductions will not affect the quality of materials, emphasized Tron, who has begun using a fabric made of recycled plastic fished from the ocean, called Seaqual.
Tron has been working hard on developing textiles for his body-hugging silhouettes — he is known for using jersey for his “structured flou” styles.
“It took a lot of time — there were things I wanted to do that weren’t technically possible, yet,” he said.
“I wanted it to be high quality,” added Tron, noting the challenge of finding materials that fit his technical requirements.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Tron gained experience in the Balenciaga studio under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, Alexander Wang and Demna Gvasalia. He launched his label in 2016.