NATURAL SELECTION: Swiss ath-luxury brand Emyun hosted a lunch at three-Michelin star restaurant L’Arpège in Paris on Wednesday to introduce the brand in France, where it hopes to gain a foothold as it seeks to expand its presence in the world’s leading fashion hubs.
The high-end men’s activewear brand, launched last year by cofounders Salvatore Mandra and Rodolphe Huynh, is sold through the Bongénie Grieder department store chain in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne. It is also available online and in hotels including La Réserve in Geneva, the Gstaad Palace and the W in Verbier.
Emyun hopes to add points of sale in Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo and Los Angeles over the next four years, said Mandra, who splits his time between developing the brand and his job as sponsoring manager at Swiss watchmaker Hublot.
“Our idea is to be present mainly in spas and hotels, because that is where the ideal customers are,” he said, adding that he hoped to also open a small pop-up in Paris for the holidays.
The brand uses superfine merino wool fabrics developed by Italian mill Reda, prized for their odorless and thermo-regulating properties. The clothes, featuring practical details like reflective stripes, invisible pockets and thumbholes, have no tags inside for maximum comfort.
Created in collaboration with Mélisande Grivet, who has worked for brands including Max Mara, the so-called “sport couture” outfits are designed to take the wearer from the gym to the office.
The name refers to the concept of immunity, and is also an acronym for Elegance Makes You Unique and Natural, said Huynh, who comes from a finance and IT background. “The idea is to make yourself immune to everything aggressive in the external environment, because wool is naturally protective,” he said.
The material has practical advantages, too: after use, clothes can be dipped in water and left to dry around four times between washes with a detergent.
Guests feasted on a menu concocted by award-winning chef Alain Passard — who dropped in to say hello — using vegetables from his organic gardens.
“There was a natural connection, given that we are an organic, environmentally responsible brand and that all our colors are inspired by nature,” said Mandra. “He told us we are the ‘three star’ of the sport world.”