PARIS — As eyes turn to Paris for its busy six-day schedule of 84 events, WWD highlights three designers who look feminine at menswear and speak to a spectrum of consumers whose only label is the style they want to project.
Feng Chen Wang
For Chinese designer Feng Chen Wang, parading successively in New York, London, Shanghai and now Paris is the path for her as a global citizen.
“I’ve been traveling all over the place, but I’ve also been living in a different city. [There are] many people like me [within] our customer base and community. We are from different backgrounds, we connect with different cultures. The things we make and the things we put together are a deeper form of [expressing] who we are as a young generation,” she said in a call from Shanghai.
Also congruent with his generation is his work’s gender-irrelevant approach, which is based on traditional menswear layered with elements drawn from his Chinese heritage and a flair for deconstruction.
“At first, I focused on menswear, but [being a] female designer [in that segment] brought me a lot of female clients. So now, I feel that when I refer to women’s clothing in shape or even with a skirt or dress, I’m sure that our consumers won’t just be women like [this sense of] freedom is part of the brand.
The current understanding of men’s and women’s fashion “has already become old and its definition for now and for the future will change,” she continued.
With the increase in exposure to the Beijing Winter Olympics, where she designed clothing worn by her flag-waving countrymen, making her mark in Paris with a performance on June 26 felt like a milestone and a stepping stone to the next level.
Although its main market remains largely in Asia, in particular China and Japan, this first share marks the acceleration of its business in Europe and North America.
Feng Chen Wang will also feature made-to-measure designs. But don’t consider this purely an exercise in luxury – it’s also about being smarter and more sustainable as a business.
Hence her first steps into the metaverse on June 19, as part of the Shanghai Fashion Week digital showcase, with fully virtual looks.
“Haute couture houses do everything physically before people ask, but [for a business our size] this is a sustainable path to move towards this business model in a modern, cool and young way”, he continued.
Given her ability for collaborations, which has led her to form ongoing partnerships with leading brands Levi’s, Converse, Nike, Ugg, but also with automaker Piaggio, she is also eyeing new fields.
“I don’t see myself as a fashion designer, but as a creative director,” she said, hinting at more of a lifestyle. “I feel that today’s generation is not just focused on clothes, but also on a lifestyle, including what we eat, drink and how we travel.” -Lily Templeton
When Parisian fashion designer Jeanne Friot says she wants to dress everyone, she means it.
“If I dressed my grandmother, I would be thrilled,” says this 28-year-old École Duperré and IFM graduate who spent two years at Balenciaga before launching herself in 2020.
Based in the sustainable acceleration center La Caserne, Friot designs “clothes to make you feel powerful” using dead or recycled materials, with few other considerations than making the wearer feel – and look – good.
“My work is not about me creating a collection that I apply to people. It speaks of the individual before fashion,” she said, noting that even the genderless label seems inappropriate given her view of gender as a spectrum.
Hence his description of client Jeanne Friot as “anyone, anyone who is urban and passionate about the way we cut and make clothes”, in keeping with his view that clothing should be “an energy and a personality”.
Expect Swarovski crystal laces, embroidery and eye-catching feather denim brought over from previous seasons in their Spring 2023 collection, unveiled at 3:30 pm on June 22 on FHCM’s digital platform, before a physical presentation from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Tokyo Palace.
While ending the gender fits the times and her generation, there is one place she believes is still needed – pointing out that she is a female designer.
“When you start counting, you realize [how few prominent ones] there” in both men’s and women’s clothing, she said, noting that even famous houses founded by women were often led by men in recent times.
“The designer’s gender still matters and is part of my [mission and values] to end it,” she said. — LT
Mowalola Ogunlesi, the London-based Nigerian designer who until recently was the design director of the Yeezy Gap line, will present her Spring 2023 collection in Paris for the first time on June 25.
Known for expressing her support for black culture and championing the “progressive and androgynous” Y2K aesthetic, Ogunlesi attended London’s Central Saint Martins and made her London Fashion Week debut with Lulu Kennedy’s emerging support platform Fashion East in 2019. .
She gained public attention after Naomi Campbell was spotted wearing a Mowalola dress with a gunshot wound design, which according to the designer was supposed to convey the feeling of being a walking target.
While working with Ye on the Yeezy Gap line, she donned some of the biggest celebrities including Drake, Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa, Lil Nas X and Solange Knowles, and built a sizable following online, selling logo t-shirts for £80. , bags for £200 and miniskirts for £300 through its own direct-to-consumer channel.
For his first collection after going solo, titled “Burglar Wear”, Ogunlesi will debut a collaboration with a major sportswear brand.
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