Arthur Robert’s young collection takes cues from both the American and French west — hence the name, Ouest — interpreting the codes in clever ways.
For his third collection, Robert channeled surf culture by reinterpreting the life vest into a padded shrug tied loosely around the shoulders, a wool and nylon rain poncho served as an updated surfer staple, while Neoprene wetsuit fabric was transformed into trousers studded with rivets at the knee.
Robert has an obsession with rivets and used them throughout the collection, moving them away from pockets and using them in unique places. A particular standout was his denim jacket. He reinterpreted a vintage number with pleats, but updated it for a more streamlined silhouette, and added rivets across the precise pleats on the chest. Touches of cowboy were there too, seen on jeans that subtly recall chaps. Boot cut jeans had rivets at the ankle, with the flare opening to patchwork in various shades of blue.
The palette of muted shades recalled a foggy, wintery morning on the beach, Robert said, and knitwear patterns showed an off-season skyline. Even the accessories were beach-bound, with rugged slip-ons that surfers prefer when they get out of the water.
The longtime Ami designer took inspiration from the success of that line in making the leap to create his own brand. For this third outing he built on the hits of the first two collections, including a jean with an apron-front wrap around that has been a bestseller. He intends to keep the pieces and build a solid foundation of wardrobe staples that will remain as a permanent collection.
The spring 2023 collection is housed in 10 stockists this season, including the big three Parisian department stores and boutiques in Tokyo and Miami. But Robert noted that 50 percent of the brand’s online sales go to the U.S.
“We were sold out on some jeans, especially the apron jean, thanks to Americans basically,” he said. “We have a lot of potential. The foreign market is still untapped for us.”