Paris Mens Fashion Week Recap (Jan ’18)
Paris men’s fashion week is always a great place to get an overview of what brands have been up to for the past few months, where product seems to be heading in general, and most importantly, it’s a chance to catch up with friends involved in all aspects of the industry that have flown in from all corners of the earth.
Granted we didn’t spend a whole bunch of time at the shows, but there were still some brands that stood-out more than others during our time there. Here’s a very breif overview of what went down.
Pics (mostly) by David Mawdsley
The choice to go for this past fashion week was a bit of a last minute one, and after accidently (but rather forunately) booking the flights a day earlier then planned, we landed in Paris just in time to head to Both’s “Process” showroom.
Both is a brand in a very unique situation, as the have the extremley rare ability to push vulcanised construction in super interesting and innovative ways, due to them actually owning their own factory. From juxtaposing materials more commonly utilised on perfomance sneakers, with unique foxing applications, to fully vulcanised uppers, Both offered up a super refreshing take on an age old method of producing footwear.
The next morning, after getting some much needed Parisien pastries, we headed around the city to link with some friends, have some meetings and check out some show rooms. One of the first being Filling Pieces, who always seem deliver a clean and fresh grouping of styles, building on the sole units created in the previous collections and offering up some new super clean styles.
After the FP showroom we also headed over to the Man Woman tradshow to see what the homies at BrandBlack had been cooking up. Needless to say they had one of the most impressive collections of footwear I personally saw throughout the couple days I was there. From chunky runners, to beautifully knitted overlaced footwear, and beautiful garments also, BB is in a vibe right now. Shoutout to the Brubaker brothers also, who we managed to bump into near the entrance, Clear Weather is always an attention grabber.
Due to these guys being at Man Woman, tradeshows generally frown on taking any pics so we don’t have much to show. I did manage to get papp’d by one of the shows photographers though…
From Man Woman we had we decided to go see London based shoe brand, Primury’s latest collection. A incredibly clean line up, with that super clever masking tape sole unit and new tip-ex inspired style, the brands only been around for a few seasons but is producing beautiful subtle, extremley well executed product with some very unique materials. Different, yet palatable to a wide audience.
From there it was time to shoot over to ByBorre‘s family & friends event at Sonos Studios in their mad little ByBorre “support units”. Hosted by the super talented Yue Wu, we got to mingle with a group of super talented creatives, drink a little, and indulge in very swanky hors d’oeuvres.
Yue Wu had actually created a story board of some of the journey of ByBorre as a brand, who then turned that illustration into a knit and created scarves from, which they gifted to each of their guests. Yue Wu also signed a printed versio of his illustration (he drew a sneaker with a beard and a beanie on mine). I also got to check out some of their new collection in their mobile showroom, and needless to say that their new lineup is even crazier then ever before. This is knit innovation at it’s finest.
Mr. Bailey x ekn Footwear TRILLIUM Boot
2 1/2 YEARS IN DEVELOPMENT, 3 DIFFERENT FACTORIES, 10 SAMPLE ROUNDS.
My challenge with the TRILLIUM was to design something that is both unique, and minimal. Delving into the shoes construction and allowing it’s unique construction to be the source of it’s aesthetic, allowed the shoe to be both simple and complicated, different and palatable, all at the same time.
A uniquely constructed iteration of a Chelsea Boot, the TRILLIUM is both minimal in it’s aesthetic, and complex in it’s construction. The TRILLIUM features a stitch-less upper, with a uniquely wrapped one-piece raw edge leather upper and hidden elasticated collar, a welted Vibram Christy sole and a recycled, removable neoprene bootie (not seen in pics).
From forming the upper correctly, to finding the perfect Last, wear testing and material selection, each phase has been meticulously calculated and tested to ensure the final result embodies both the intended functional elements of the design, as well as the aesthetic.
The boot is (finally) available via www.eknfootwear.com
Sneakers The Book | Now Available
A few months ago, Howie kahn, Alex French & Rodrigo Corral, the minds behind Sneakers The Book, reached out to me to get my shoe story; how ConceptKicks started, where my journey started and where it’s continuing to lead me.
With stories from over 60 industry legends, from Tinker Hatfield and Jeff Staple, to Ronnie Fieg and Virgil Abloh, the book is filled with incredible stories from iconic shoe industry leaders.
I received my copy of the book yesterday (which came in a mini shoe box), and the whole project is just beautifully executed. I’m super humbled to be sandwiched between two industry icons, Tiffany Beers and Tom Sachs, at what imo, is the best chapter number in the book, 23.
The book is now available for purchase (here), we’re also planning a London launch event later next month so make sure to stay tuned for that if you happen to be in the area.
Images by David Mawdsley