In our column United Nations of Style, we talk to the coolest, cuckoo craziest and most creative fashion designers around the world to hear what inspires them and what it's like to work in fashion where they live. This week we talked to Aurélien Arbet who along Jérémie Egry created the French brand Études.
How would you describe your brand? How does it go beyond fashion?
Études is a collective founded by Aurélien Arbet and Jérémie Egry and based in Paris and NY. It's a multidisciplinary studio working in fashion, books and art direction. Each of the projects inspire the other and we like to use clothing as a medium like books or photography.
Who/what are your fashion inspirations? Your design inspirations?
The world and the cities we live in (Paris and New York), what surrounds us in our everyday lives, the way things change and the things to come.
What was the vision behind your spring 2014 collection?
Our spring/summer 2014 collection, World Talk, articulates itself around the idea of global communication. It plays on the notion of "world cities," a place where people in perpetual migration meet each other and blend together to create a new worldwide identity. This notion embodies a melting-pot where tradition meets modernity, ethnicity meets technology, and craftsmanship meets digitalism, thus creating a universal language.
What is your design process?
We do not have a formula and like to treat each project differently. We usually like to start around a few strong directions and then do some research and experiment. We also like to collaborate with other artists on projects, to find the right person for each particular idea we've in mind.
If you could dress anyone, past or present, who would it be?
It's a pretty hard question, but Jean Michel Basquiat would have been great.
If you weren't in fashion, what would you be doing?
We define ourselves as creative directors and/or curators, not fashion designers, so we get to work in a variety of fields that allow us to do many different things everyday. We work with artists, brands, institutions, brands, galleries...our daily life is quite rich and special. We have a few ideas of projects we would like to do with objects, furniture, music, video... so maybe that's what we would be doing.
How does the atmosphere of your city affect/influence your personal style?
Of course life is quite different in Paris and NY, but the back and forth creates an interesting dialogue and a real energy to our lifestyle.
How does the atmosphere of your city affect/influence the style of your brand?
I would say that we like to take the positive aspect of each city/country we live in and mix it together to create unique designs -- this is what Études is all about!
What do you think is the most exciting thing about modern menswear?
There is a real interest for mens clothing now. Our customer lives a special lifestyle where every detail and quality is important, so they like to search for a special product that has a story.
What's next for you?
We just launched a new book, Temps Mort by Mohamed Bourouissa, and we are opening a pop up store in NY this summer - stay tuned!