11 posts tagged "MyTheresa"
Justin O’Shea, the buying director at online luxury store MyTheresa, recently told Reuters that Copenhagen was one of only a few cities that inspired him. “It’s exotic minimalism. Beautiful simplicity is in their DNA. It is not based around high heels and miniskirts,” he said in the article.
It’s that simple elegance that’s starting to turn the heads of fashion insiders, like O’Shea, and consumers alike. (Denmark’s fashion exports have reportedly grown by 16 percent since 2009.) One of the most promising talents of them all is Danish designer Asger Juel Larsen, who won the inaugural menswear award in the Woolmark Europe competition last month, beating out designers like Pavel Ivancic, Vladimir Karaleev, and Cedric Jacquemyn. His judges included Style.com’s Tim Blanks, Colette’s Sarah Andelman, and Hermès’ Véronique Nichanian. “It was a unanimous decision. We were all in agreement about the choice,” Nichanian told WWD of their menswear choice.
On the heels of Larsen’s Spring 2015 “Interrupt Me” runway show in Copenhagen (as part of Copenhagen fashion week, which has just wrapped up), we checked in with the London College of Fashion grad to talk about the changing fashion scene in the Danish capital right now, his decision to leave London for Copenhagen, and more.
On the Copenhagen fashion climate right now…“Copenhagen fashion week is one of the biggest in northern Europe—it’s the most interesting in Scandinavia. We have some really strong designers who have been showing for many years, and then some new ones coming from places like London and Amsterdam who are trying a new thing and alternative way of presenting. There’s a very fun energy here right now.”
London vs. Copenhagen aesthetics…“They are definitely the total opposite look. The whole London scene—I think that makes up the craziness of what I do. Obviously, tailoring is a huge part of what I like to do. But I also have my Danish heritage—I used to embroider things with my mom and grandma, and that makes up a big part of who I am as a designer.”
On growing his business…
“I showed at London fashion week when I graduated—I had sponsored shows—then I was either going to do shows for press or go back to Copenhagen and build a company. When I moved from London, I really didn’t want to leave, it’s such an epicenter of fashion. But we are doing it at our own pace, and I’m really glad I did it that way. Eventually, I would also like to have a base in NYC. We are sold at VFiles in New York, H. Lorenzo in L.A., Henrik Vibskov, and lots of places in Scandinavia (obviously). Our biggest business right now is coming from Japan and the U.S. Our diffusion line of basics, A.J.L. Madhouse, is way more affordable, and that’s doing quite well.”
The immediate effects of the Woolmark win…
“I think the show went really well. I think there were a lot more international magazines at the show because of my Woolmark win. Also, lots of buyers have been contacting me. All in all, the news has been everywhere and all the media outlets have covered it. My Google alerts are going mad right now. It looks like the future is going to be hectic.”
On the art of winning a fashion prize…
“I had a really good, but very short, dialogue with the judges. I think they thought the fabrics and the garments I did were unique. I wanted to make a human sheep with the merino wool—we all laughed about that. I didn’t have much schooling on doing a fashion competition, they just selected me and Anne Sofie Madsen to do it. It was just me and my team, trying to make something really pure. You know?”
His dream fashion prize to win…
“To me, Woolmark is everything. There is nothing bigger.”
Since launching Edun in 2005, Ali Hewson and husband Bono have been candid about the challenges they’ve faced in developing and maintaining a fashion brand—particularly one with an ambitious mandate to source materials and employ artisans across Africa. But then, when the name of your label is nude spelled backward, perhaps transparency is a given. While Edun has been partially owned by LVMH for the past five years, only recently, with the appointment of creative director Danielle Sherman in April 2013, has the brand come into its own. Shortly before guests arrived chez Bono for a three-part party hosted by MyTheresa.com to celebrate the company’s launch on the site, Sherman (formerly of Alexander Wang and The Row) and Hewson settled into an outdoor nook overlooking the Mediterranean to discuss the state of Edun today.
Danielle, you’ve just been made a member of the CFDA. What does that mean to you?
Danielle Sherman: I’m very lucky to be a part of that community now. It puts us on another platform. With Edun, so much of what we do is about a meeting of the minds. This is another way of connecting to a larger community.
Now that Danielle has two seasons behind her, how has the team settled into this new chapter at Edun?
Ali Hewson: I think Danielle has done an amazing job in rewriting us aesthetically and finding exactly how to work in Africa and how we produce. We’re now producing 85 percent in Africa, which was our goal from the beginning—we just could never really get there. But with Danielle’s commitment, we are there.
How did you finally reach this goal?
DS: It’s in the details. Everyone [in this industry] is creating and manufacturing stuff, but the details are what make things special. We do this by talking to the people who are making our clothing. But then also setting up a structure where they can understand our language—certain details like necklines—and then they can successfully achieve it. So it’s not like we just send packages away and then expect to get something back. The way we work at Edun and the factories we work with in Africa—it’s all extremely intimate.
Ali, how did you determine that Danielle would be a good fit?
AH: Bono and I met her in Switzerland at a hotel. We were on our way someplace; she came to see us, and we had an hour and a half together. But it was very clear to us just by meeting her that this was someone who was really going to think through every step of the process and who had the excitement and imagination to do the creative side. It kind of just oozes out of her; you can feel it. So we felt very confident once we met with Danielle—as if we found home.
How does access to artisanal techniques benefit the collections?
DS: Madagascar has a vast history of embroidery, for example. So if anything, it’s us going there and learning from them. That’s why we say it’s reciprocal—not purely a transfer of skills from our end or their end. When I visited last year, we were walking on a beach and saw some fishermen’s homes—essentially long leaves interwoven into honeycomb structures. It was so beautiful and so straightforward. Little things like that can inspire the total direction of a season.
Your most recent collection drew from your visit to the archives at the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris. But it hardly feels like a trip back in time. How do you keep the collections current?
DS: I think being a woman and being able to relate intimately to the clothing that you’re working with and that you’re wearing—you see something and you’re influenced by it. And then the way we like to interpret it is in a nuanced way, not an obvious way. When I went to the Musée du Quai Branly, I met with Héléne Joubert, who oversees the African textile archive, and the history is all there. The textiles that were really interesting to me were from North Africa, especially Morocco. They’re geometric and graphic and have a lot of stripes. That’s what gave me the idea to take something classic like a herringbone and intersect it with a stripe.
Danielle, you clearly have the basics figured out from your stints at Alexander Wang and The Row. Were the directional runway looks a challenge?
DS: I think in order to really push Edun and give it new direction creatively, we had to introduce more transformative or aspirational pieces. This took more time to develop because I needed to still relate to it in some capacity; it couldn’t be totally foreign. Nothing that we do is really fantastical or frivolous and there’s no excess. Everything is quite stripped down, very reduced to an essence. The stuff you see in the show is definitely stuff we have worked and reworked. But I read that Fitzgerald rewrote The Great Gatsby something like 76 times. And if he wrote that book 76 times, then I could redo this collection a few times. For Edun to be a viable and relevant brand, people need to relate and understand the core basics and classics, because that is the everyday. But people still need to get excited by something, and those pieces have to be what you see in the show.
With MyTheresa, are you after greater brand visibility and reach?
AH: Absolutely. And to introduce Danielle as the creative director of Edun internationally—to get people to understand and recognize who she is and what she does. MyTheresa really wants to support us. As Jens [Jens Riewenherm, MyTheresa's CEO] was saying to me earlier, “We’re not into a one-night stand; we’re into commitment.” Which is so important for us because we’re still a small brand working in Africa.
Have you been able to speak with clients and retailers about their opinions and expectations?
DS: That’s probably been one of the biggest challenges; we don’t have our own store, so we are relying on retailers to give us information. Justin [Justin O'Shea, MyTheresa's buying director] came in a few times and we’ve had conversations to understand his market and who his customer is, because it varies significantly from other dot-coms. And MyTheresa has such a unique angle. They’re the ones picking up those showpieces. I really like honesty. My mom and my sister talk about things a lot. Ali might say why she likes something or what she’s not into.
AH: Danielle is very open, which for a creative person, is amazing. She’s really open to what people think and what they want to wear and to making Edun a success. At the end of the day, you can have the most beautiful clothes, but if people don’t want to wear them, it’s not going to go anywhere. And the whole point of the mission is that we do sell clothes, and then the company grows and therefore we work more in Africa.
Do you find this is a motivator for you—that it gives the fashion another dimension?
DS: It’s unlike any experience I’ve had. I ask myself, How can I be tired when there’s a bigger hill to climb? It’s something that’s bigger than us. And that’s what this is about.
What will Edun look like in five years?
DS: I still think it will have its essence of purity, just by the way we tend to dress ourselves. It always feels honest and very real, and I hope it still has that. I think it will become more diverse, if anything. Our goal eventually is to enter into other categories, which will also fulfill the mission.
AH: It’s very exciting because you’re standing at the bottom of this thing and you don’t know quite how it’s going to grow. But you know it’s going to grow and it has huge potential and great energy moving forward, especially at the moment.
Is it important that Danielle shift the focus from a Bono/Ali story to Edun proper?
AH: We realized from the beginning that no matter what the mission, the aesthetic is the most important thing. Or else it’s not fashion and it’s not going to be a business. And it needs to be a business to achieve its mission. So the aesthetic is what makes it sustainable, and that’s where Danielle comes in.
Danielle, have Ali and Bono influenced the way you think about design?
DS: I have always loved to travel, but most of my research has been from books and things I get inspired by from my friends who are artists. Ali and Bono have shown me a whole other world that exists, and there’s so much incredible inspiration and so many people we have met and a culture I was more or less foreign to that I am starting to get to know. They also continue to encourage me to travel. Bono said to me, “You need to make time to dream.” What he meant is I really need to take that time to clear my head, and see something and have an experience—and then to bring it back to Edun and interpret it and translate it in some way that people can also experience.
Even though I was just a kid in the nineties, I feel like I’m actually experiencing the decade’s trends thanks to the latest surge of nineties nostalgia. With that in mind, I was very excited to see the new MyTheresa capsule collection of reissued Calvin Klein classics, which launched Wednesday. (Kate Moss’ little sister, Lottie, is the new face.) The CK logo sweatshirts are probably selling out as we speak, but I’m gravitating more toward these light-wash overalls. I’d wear them rolled-up with slides and a striped tee during the day, then elevate them with strappy sandals and a red lip for evening. The added bonus? They totally fall into the “art-teacher chic” trend we’re into right now. Rest assured I’ll be wearing these to Sunday brunch, not pottery class.
Calvin Klein Jeans MyTheresa exclusive denim dungarees, $416, Buy it now
Nothing comes between Calvin Klein and the Moss clan. Kate Moss famously posed for the label’s ad campaigns, alongside Mark Wahlberg, back in the nineties. Now her younger sister Lottie Moss is taking a turn as the face of the iconic American sportswear label. For its new Re-Issue Project with MyTheresa, Calvin Klein Jeans asked the 16-year-old to sport updated versions of its nine most classic pieces. The campaign was lensed by photographer Michael Avedon, who is also a legacy with the brand—his grandfather Richard Avedon photographed Brooke Shields for CK.
The capsule incudes original high-waisted skinny jeans and tapered jeans (popularized by none other than Kate), as well as denim jackets and shirts. The collection launches on MyTheresa on July 16, with prices ranging from $105 to $415. Here, a first look at the campaign.