Benjamin Benmoyal may be moving away from the cassette-tape fabrics he started out with, but the unusual medium continued to inform his textiles in a collection dominated by colorful outsized checks. He veered sportier this season, working his chunky woven fabrics into outsized hoodies and cardigans with thick rope-tie details for men and women.
The designer’s main inspiration for going genderless, he said, was that he was frustrated not to be able to wear his own creations. He remarked that in Morocco, from whence his family hails and long an inspiration for his collections, androgynous wear is the norm, not a trend. Caftans have always been a part of his lineup, built from rectangles of fabric to reduce waste.
Printed floral silks, as in a blouse with handkerchief sleeves, were designed to mix-and-match with the tweeds, which were woven from deadstock yarns at a factory in Saint-Etienne. Elsewhere, fringed jackets and striped pants reprised familiar house signatures.
New this season was headwear — baseball caps and chapka hats — to match the colorful wardrobe. Benmoyal said the move was in line with retailer demand for more accessible pieces.
This was all the more relevant, he said, given how inflation has impacted every level of business in recent months, putting pressure on margins for younger designers, who have less power to increase their prices accordingly than the major luxury houses.
Between design and production for this collection, he said, the price of weaving the fabrics has increased by a third. “If it goes on, I may have to take production abroad, which I’m really reluctant to do,” he said.