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EXCLUSIVE: Each x Other Merges Art and Fashion at Colette


Each x Other x Robert Montgomery tote

It may be only a couple of years old, but the Paris-based Each x Other—a “contemporary androgynous” fashion label-cum-publishing house-cum-cultural platform—has clearly struck a chord. Founded by designer Ilan Delouis and gallerist/art director Jenny Mannerheim, the label is already present in close to four hundred stores worldwide. Flagships in the Marais district of Paris and New York are in the works for late 2014 and spring 2015, respectively. A Paris fashion show is slated for next spring.

Meanwhile, on Monday, June 9, the brand is touching down at Colette for a monthlong exhibition with text artist Robert Montgomery. The show will be accompanied by a series of “artists’ multiples,” an exclusive T-shirt inspired by a new iteration of Montgomery’s work The Slow Disappearance of Meaning and Truth (which will occupy the front window), and the label’s first Pre-Fall collection for men and women. The “Art Meets Fashion” trio recently sat down with to talk about creative expression, fashion priorities, and the word-fueled fire they’re preparing to light in the Tuileries on June 26, after a cocktail at Colette.

How did Each x Other take form?
Jenny Mannerheim: It was an art-world relationship first. Ilan and I met at a gallery, and the idea for the brand came soon after, at Rob’s 2011 solo show; the illuminated Fire of Each Other was the biggest piece in it. I had art directed for Vogue Hommes and Beaux Arts, and Ilan was a cofounder of Faith Connection, so there was an instant fashion-art-publishing connection.

What were your first pieces?
JM: We started with a capsule collection of timeless basics based on men’s tailoring—coats, jeans, and jackets—incorporating an artist’s work. We thought it would be small until it started cropping up all over London and Paris. Then we realized it was bigger than we thought.

As an artist, what’s your take on art in fashion?
Robert Montgomery: Fashion has become a medium. Every brand produces content; galleries and artists are comfortable with fashion in a way they weren’t ten years ago. Fashion makes a great platform for visibility. I think of it the same way I think of my billboards. You interrupt conversation in a way that makes people stop and think. It also brings to mind a Jenny Holzer piece I love that states, “Use what is dominant in culture to change it quickly.”

Each x Other tee

Have you always had an interest in fashion?
RM: Actually, when I was in high school I used to wear my mom’s navy blazer with gold buttons. I’ve always been comfortable wearing something slightly craftsy; artists are making things all the time, so they tend to feel freer [in fashion]. What I love is smuggling some poetry into pop culture. If [people] don’t study enough, they can have it by accident. Malcolm McLaren was a friend of mine; I admired how he used clothes to make cultural statements.

Do you get involved in the design process?
RM: I hate how jackets have become too short. I told [Ilan and Jenny] that I wanted a lazy way of dressing that would cover my bum. Also, coats that you can sleep in on an airplane or wear out of the studio at night without having to change.

Each x Other What exclusives are bowing at Colette?

JM: Sarah’s selection ranges from “multiples” like original Polaroids on Plexiglas by Maripol, framed photographs by Fabio Paleari, and a miniature rug by François Mangeol. Works by Rob include embroidered patches of text (16 euros), the Each x Other Robert Montgomery wool tote with patches, and six new, signed variations on his existing works, priced at about a tenth of the originals.

RM: Which makes them cheaper than most designer handbags! One is an aluminum cast, which was my personal bid to reduce my Diet Coke carbon footprint. It turned out to be more complicated than casting in bronze, though.

Ilan Delouis: And speaking of handbags, for fall we’re bringing out leather bags with an integrated universal USB battery.

RM: The battery was my idea.

JM: You can charge your phone and plug in your bag at night, then spend your day without having to worry about [your phone] running out of juice.

Each x Other’s catchphrase is “rough luxury.” What does that mean?
ID: We work clothes like an artist prepares a canvas. You need to rough things up a bit to give them life. Each x Other is about clothes done in noble materials like washed silk, cashmere, and lambskin, but that are a little roughed up. Hopefully, it conveys a sense of life aesthetics. For us, beauty lies in imperfection.

Is fashion art?
ID: It is in luxury, in terms of creativity.

RM: Creativity is always an art. [Fashion is] a medium of expression for individuals. It’s the most democratic art form, an expression of difference.

Is that partly why you’re doing a fire poem in the Tuileries?
RM: I’m Scottish; fire is an important ritual in Northern traditions. [The work is] inspired by the Vendôme column, which was demolished under the Paris Commune, and the artist Gustave Courbet, who was ordered to finance its rebuilding. But that’s all I’ll say for now.

Each x Other will be on show exclusively at Colette from June 9 through July 12. The label is sold at Barneys New York, Nordstrom, The Webster, Neiman Marcus, and Net-a-Porter. Artists’ multiples will be sold on the brand’s online library.