Speaking on the phone from his studio in Florence, Federico Curradi confessed to being a bit nervous. “This is both our first time on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar and our first fashion show,” said the designer, who had previously opted for the presentation format to unveil the two collections he designed since being appointed creative director of Rochas Homme in June 2018.
For his fall 2020 collection, which will be shown on Jan. 16, Curradi took inspiration from a real-life source: A personal friend of his, an artist who lives just around the corner from him in Florence. “He does ceramics, he’s very bohemian and also a bit trippy — he mostly works at night,” said Curradi.
This artist was the starting point of the collection, an array of “really beautiful pieces and materials” that a group of young artists mix and match haphazardly, simply following their instinct. “The looks will feature handmade little touches and will be slightly imperfect as if to say — I don’t care what I look like, I’m an artist and can wear what I want,” explained Curradi.
Thick jackets and mohair suits reminiscent of old-school Milanese bourgeoise style and British “supermasculine” tailoring fabrics are paired with hippie-style dyed silks and piles and piles of jewelry. It’s the first time the brand designed the entire jewelry offering in house, literally making the pieces by hand in Curradi’s studio in Florence. The result will be dotted throughout the silhouettes, embellishing the shoulders on thick wool coats right down to the leather boots finishing off the looks.
Rochas Homme already does accessories and footwear, but the next collection will also feature hats designed in collaboration with Nick Fouquet, the Los Angeles-based milliner known for his laid-back styles. “My goal is to create a silhouette that is instinctive and real — that’s what I try to do.” — Fleur Burlet
It’s Paris for his first show, and Reese Cooper moved mountains to get here. Well, piles of suitcases, anyway. His stack of luggage — six pieces high, cinched together with a 30-foot belt strap with a slider at the end — caught the eye of customs officials in the French capital, and landed him in an interrogation room for a spell.
“Honestly, it felt like a bad heist,” said the CVFF nominee, from a perch above the Seine River, looking visibly relieved to have extracted his polished, upscale collection of jeans, embroidered hoodies and jackets from the clutches of the intimidating officers. In keeping with his flair for DIY, he had jumped into action, finding a lawyer to draw up the missing document and someone to fly it in from the U.S.
The Los Angeles-based 22-year-old is calling his collection “If the tree falls,” fitting both his love of the outdoors — seen in prints made from sticks and leaves collected in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains of California — and reflecting his deliberation on what kind of impact his first show might have.
“I put everything into this, it’s my gamble — if this one pays off, it’s the next level from here, doing a show for the first time, it’s exactly that metaphor — is anyone really gonna care?” he said, adding he didn’t mean it in a pessimistic way.
Cooper, who was raised in Georgia, got his foot in the fashion door as an intern for Craig Ford, who is credited for bringing streetwear into the U.K., brands like A Bathing Ape.
The young streetwear groupie turned to a local seamstress, equipped with fabric from London’s fabric district, and set her to work.
“She taught me all the basics,” he said, recalling his puzzlement when she asked him for a pattern for his jacket request. “I’m like, what the hell’s a pattern?”
Now, he uses computer-aided design, or CAD programs, describing how he likes to play with combining various looks up on his screen. “I just start dragging things — like, could this work? Does this look cool?”
He said he intends to stick with the classics, but sees his style maturing — people who can afford his clothing don’t necessarily want to look like they’re in their early 20s. As for the younger crowd, he seeks to push styles into new directions gradually, nudging the kids who started out with him out of their comfort zone.
“Like ‘hoodies are a little cropped now, let’s try that silhouette,’ like ‘baggy corduroy pants, try that!’ — but you can’t go too fast cause then they’ll get scared.” The cropped hoodies will be on show; so, too will be patched jeans, distressed with a new method using pressurized carbon dioxide — meant to be more ecologically friendly than traditional methods. He also focused on painter pants and lightweight outerwear, reflecting the vintage Americana utilitarian vein that runs through his clothing.
“This is the first time where I am able to put myself in other people’s shoes,” he said, noting his plan to move beyond the stage of an “elaborate passion project” to focus on how he wants others to dress, rather than dressing himself. — Mimosa Spencer
It’s not Masayuki Ino’s first time in Paris: In 2018, the designer behind Japanese brand Doublet won the LVMH Prize, which was handed to him by Emma Stone at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. After a couple of runway shows in his native Tokyo, where the brand is based, the designer is making his grand return to the French capital this season, with his first presentation on the official Paris men’s week calendar planned for Jan. 16.
“I wanted to thank Paris and LVMH, therefore Paris was my only selection,” said Ino of the choice to show in the capital of fashion. “I am only here because of winning the award and support from LVMH. I learned a lot from them. Presenting on the official schedule is really big step for me and my career.”
Doublet, which was founded in 2012, quickly became one of Japan’s most buzz-worthy brands, known for its grunge aesthetic, tongue-in-cheek designs and experimental, boundary-pushing methods of clothing production. Ino has previously described his brand’s style as “daily wear with strangeness.”
For the fall 2020 collection, titled “We Are the World,” Ino continued his textile experimentations. “I have invented new techniques and materials this season: One of my favorite materials is the one that looks exactly like cardboard,” he explained. To create the wavy, pleated look that can be found inside cardboard boxes, the Japanese designer blended two materials: tyvek, a synthetic material made of high-density polyethylene fibers, is used on the surface, while the inside is made of pleated pig leather.
This technique will be used on bags created in partnership with Beta Post, a Japanese accessories brand. Next on the cards for Doublet is a collaboration with sneaker label DC Shoes, a favorite of skaters, to be launched soon.
Asked about the predicted end of streetwear, Ino, whose previous collections have featured hoodies, slouchy ath-leisure, puffer jackets and oversize outerwear, remained unfazed. “I think the end means a new start, and it keeps repeating,” he mused. “For me, what fashion critics say is not important. For me it is more important that the clothes feels fresh to the people who actually wear them.” — Fleur Burlet
Ziggy Chen is a highly revered figure in China. Many consider him Uma Wang’s equal in the Chinese men’s wear scene. Chen will showcase his fall 2020 collection in the format of a presentation on Jan. 15.
Born in Wuhan, Hubei province, Chen spent years working for commercial fashion brands on the domestic market. Eventually, he lost his interest in that and decided to challenge himself. Chen launched his own label in 2012 and set to conquer the international market in his early 40s. He began coming to Paris and set up a showroom in 2013.
“I wasn’t an academically trained designer. In the beginning, I made all sorts of mistakes with my design, yet they somehow got sold. I think I created my own style through mistakes and continuous learning,” he said.
The brand seeks to articulate the encounter between tradition and contemporary times and to advance the experimentation of materials with its design. While textiles are developed and sourced from selected mills around the world, most of the clothes are handmade in Chen’s studio in Shanghai. Only a small portion of simple shirts are made in Italy.
“It’s quite the opposite of what people imagine. In the beginning, I relied on Italian factories. But they simply can’t deliver the kind of natural hand-sewing quality I want,” Chen added.
The brand mostly consists of two colors, black and dark green. The latter comes from the oxidized ink of Chinese traditional painting.
The fall 2020 collection marks a new chapter for the brand. There wasn’t a particular theme in previous seasons, according to Chen. He spent more energy on patterns, supply chain and listening to customer feedback.
“I want to make a summary with this season. A departure from the past, add some news elements to kick-start a new cycle. I draw inspiration from what I see every day. We create a pattern from a mud wall in our new shop in Shanghai and use it on Italian fabric first developed in the 17th century. A tree right outside our office also inspires the new collection,” Chen said.
A coat from Ziggy Chen costs around $1,280 to $2,860, and a jacket is priced from $860 to $1,715. The brand is sold globally through more than 50 retailers, including Antonioli in Italy, Hotoveli and IF Soho in New York, Lane Crawford in the Greater China region and L’éclaireur in Paris. — Tianwei Zhang
We11done is the in-house brand of Rare Market, a leading Korean concept store run by Dami Kwon and Jessica Jung in Seoul.
The link will make its Paris debut on Jan. 19, and Korean pop icon G-Dragon, who just finished his military service last year, will attend the show to support his sister Kwon.
Known for extreme proportion with subtle details, Jung said We11done is about blurring the lines. “We mix high and low, men’s wear and women’s wear, collaging different colors and textures and materials to try to create something new. We want to design original, exciting clothes for everyday life.”
Kwon added that they make statement clothes that people actually want to wear. “The We11done team has a very specific taste. We’re very particular about what we like and don’t like, and it comes through in the clothes.”
The duo see showing in Paris as a natural choice because they get to present their clothes without any stereotypes or preconceptions based on their cultural background or what country they came from.
“It’s like a clean slate, which creates a more level playing field. That makes it the best place for us to receive real feedback on who we are, what we’ve done, and what we’ve built and will continue to build with We11done,” said Jung.
On top of that, they have been coming to Paris since the opening of Rare Market in 2014 as buyers. “As a fashion capital, it has incredible energy. The shows and street style are always inspiring, and we always leave with fresh ideas. We’re excited to bring We11done to the city and add to that excitement,” Jung continued.
This fall 2020 collection is centered on the idea of reconstruction. They look back through the last five years and revisited the fundamental designs while playing with new materials and new techniques.
Key looks in the fall collection include a keyhole top and matching messenger bag, both cut from the same Lurex knit, and a coat dress made from a very textured faux fur, almost like an astrakhan coat-dress, according to Jung.
The brand has been gaining good momentum since launch in 2016. Kwon said they are growing across all markets internationally, thanks to K-Pop’s global popularity and easy-to-wear items.
An oversized plaid wool jacket is priced at $1008, a black hoodie is sold for $490, and $217 for an oversize T-shirt.
“We’re taking a more holistic approach. Rather than chasing specific markets and fussing over sales, we are putting our focus on the fact that we are able to do more of the work that we love and do it better and better,” Kwon said. — Tianwei Zhang