Archives de Tag: Pitti Uomo

Mysterious #menswear icon

Twice a year, during the Pitti Uomo, street style pictures of this #menswear icon come out. Few people know his identity (probably a buyer or an agent), we just know he has a great sense of style and we wouldn’t mind looking this sharp in few decades! Hats off to him!San 1 San 2San 9 San 3San-10 San 4 San 5 San 6 San 7 San 8

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Classé dans Personnalités / People

Inspiration de la semaine – Hirofumi Kurino

En cette période de salons professionnels comme le Pitti Uomo à Florence – et de déferlement streetstyle sur les blogs et les tumblr – vous avez sans doute déjà aperçu cet homme, Hirofumi Kurino. M. Kurino est sans aucun doute un des hommes les plus influents au sein du menswear, et ce depuis un certain temps déjà: il est l’un des fondateurs et directeur artistique du groupe United Arrows au Japon, avec Yasuto Kamoshita notamment.YASUTO-KAMOSHITA-and-HIROFUMI-KURINO

Hirofumi Kurino a un style personnel immédiatement reconnaissable. Très influencé par le vêtement américain, il adopte fréquemment des tenues d’inspiration Ivy League ou tirées du workwear, tout en sachant en détourner les codes. En outre, tout est souvent déstructuré, du col de chemise au pantalon, en passant par la veste et cela confère à H. Kurino une décontraction enviable.

Voici quelques exemples de ses tenues et une petite interview à propos du Mackintosh.

hirofumi-kurino-united-arrowsHkurino1Hkurino2Hkurino6HKurino5HKurino3HKurino8Hkurino4

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Classé dans Personnalités / People

Interview de Yasuto Kamoshita, directeur artistique d’United Arrows

For The Discerning Few a le plaisir de présenter une interview de Yasuto Kamoshita, directeur artistique d’United Arrows et designer de Camoshita United Arrows.

English version

For The Discerning Few : Pourriez-vous nous présenter votre parcours personnel ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Je viens de Tokyo. Je suis diplômé de l’université des Beaux-Arts de Tama. J’ai travaillé pour Beams dans la vente dans un premier temps, puis je me suis occupé des achats et de la planification. J’ai ensuite participé à la création d’United Arrows en 1989 pour qui j’ai tout d’abord été responsable des achats pour l’homme et des visuels. Je suis aujourd’hui directeur artistique de la société.

FTDF : Quand avez-vous commencé à prêter attention à la manière dont vous vous habilliez ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : J’ai vraiment commencé à y prêter attention quand j’étais au lycée car c’est à cette période que j’ai développé un intérêt pour la mode. Cela s’est confirmé à l’université car alors même j’étudiais l’architecture d’intérieur, je me suis finalement tourné vers la mode et l’habillement.

FTDF : Pourriez-vous décrire votre style personnel ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Je suis né en 1958 donc, de fait, j’ai été très imprégné par la culture américaine et notamment tout ce qui tournait autour du style Ivy League qui était très populaire durant ma jeunesse. Je dirais donc que mon style est avant tout d’inspiration américaine. Sinon, mon style est assez « classique ». J’aime bien être assez « habillé » mais sans que cela se traduise par une apparence rigide ou autoritaire. Il faut être sérieux, mais pas trop.

FTDF : Quand est-ce que votre marque Camoshita United Arrows a-t-elle été créée ? Quelle était votre ambition au moment de son lancement ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Camoshita United Arrows a été lancée en 2007. L’ambition était tout simplement de créer une marque incarnant une certaine vision du style japonais.

FTDF : Pourriez-vous justement nous parler de la dernière collection que vous avez présentée au dernier Pitti Uomo ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Cette collection qui est celle de l’hiver prochain est assez habillée et formelle. Elle tend à représenter ce que j’appellerais le « dandysme japonais » en présentant le savoir-faire japonais en matière de costumes et de vestes qui sont à l’origine des vêtements occidentaux. En effet, les Américains et les Européens ont de fait une grande culture et un énorme savoir-faire concernant le vestiaire masculin. Mais je pense qu’il existe aussi une interprétation et un savoir-faire japonais  en la matière que les gens auront, je l’espère, la possibilité de découvrir au travers de cette collection.

FTDF : Le Japon est désormais le marché numéro 1 pour tout ce qui touche à l’habillement masculin avec des consommateurs très sensibles et très pointus. Est-ce un état de fait que vous êtes en mesure d’expliquer ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Je n’ai pas vraiment d’explication précise à donner. Je dirais tout simplement qu’il est dans la culture japonaise d’apprendre les choses assez vite. Nous sommes d’une manière générale assez minutieux. Une fois que nous avons assimilé les bases, nous aimons bien essayer d’améliorer et de développer les choses.

Concernant l’habillement masculin, il y a beaucoup de Japonais qui sont passionnés par le style américain et la culture tailleur européenne ; et qui ont beaucoup appris en s’en inspirant. Enfin, c’est vrai qu’il y a au Japon une culture du détail qui aide forcément à être précis aussi bien pour acheter que pour créer.

FTDF : Vous êtes spécialiste de la culture américaine et notamment de la période Ivy League. Pourriez-vous expliquer à nos lecteurs la différence entre les styles Ivy et Preppy ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Il y a tout d’abord une différence d’époque. Le style Ivy League s’est développé dans les années 1960 avant la guerre du Vietnam alors que le mouvement Preppy n’est apparu qu’à la fin de la guerre.

En fait, le style Ivy était avant tout basé sur la provenance des produits et il reposait donc sur des marques américaines telles que J. Press, Gant ou Brooks Brothers. Mais avec le développement du mouvement Hippy, le style Ivy s’est trouvé mélangé à des marques européennes. C’est cet amalgame qui a fait émerger le style Preppy au début des années 1980.

Pour ce qui est des différences pures, le style Ivy est beaucoup plus codifié ; il fallait s’habiller selon une heure, un lieu, une occasion. De plus les couleurs dominantes étaient assez sobres : bleu marine, gris, marron. Le style Preppy est beaucoup plus débridé et beaucoup plus coloré.

FTDF : Que pensez-vous de la manière dont s’habillent les hommes français aujourd’hui ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Aujourd’hui, ce que j’en pense ? Rien. Même si je ne l’ai pas vu de mes propres yeux, je pense que les années 1960 étaient la période à laquelle les hommes français s’habillaient le mieux. On peut s’en apercevoir en regardant des films tels que Le Samouraï avec Alain Delon.

FTDF: Avez-vous des icônes de style ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Je vais sans doute citer les mêmes que beaucoup d’autres : Fred Astaire, Steve McQueen, Jean-Paul Belmondo ou encore Serge Gainsbourg.

Je pense qu’il est bon de tirer ses inspirations de différentes périodes et de différents horizons. Il faut prendre ce qu’on apprécie chez les autres et essayer de l’adapter à sa personne. C’est ainsi qu’on crée son style. Il ne faut pas s’inspirer d’une seule personne et essayer de la répliquer, on ne deviendra jamais élégant en procédant ainsi. Il faut au contraire s’ouvrir et puiser dans plusieurs sources.

FTDF : Quels sont les endroits et les magasins que vous aimez visiter lorsque vous êtes à Paris ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : J’aime aussi bien aller aux Puces qu’aller chez Hermès, Charvet et Arnys. J’aime aussi visiter les musées et me promener rue de Seine.

FTDF : Quel conseil donneriez-vous à un jeune homme essayant créer son propre style ?

Yasuto Kamoshita : Ne te contente pas de la mode et de l’habillement. Sois curieux. Prend le temps d’apprécier les belles choses de la vie. Instruis-toi.

For The Discerning Few remercie Yasuto Kamoshita pour sa disponibilité, son savoir et sa gentillesse.

Remerciements également à Béatrice Kim.

Interview réalisée par PAL et VM pour le compte de For The Discerning Few avec l’aide précieuse de Yumiko Kaneko. Paris, janvier 2012. Tous droits réservés.

Source photos: For The Discerning Few; Yasuto Kamoshita; The Sartorialist; Street FSN.

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Classé dans Interviews exclusives

Interview with François Ferdinand, founder of J.Keydge

We are proud to present to you an interview with François Ferdinand, founder of J.Keydge.

Lire l’interview en français.F.F.

For the Discerning Few: Can you sum up the different steps of your career?

François Ferdinand: I started in Sales, first for a women’s underwear brand, then for a ready-to-wear company. However during this period, I sometimes played to my creative side. I took pieces I thought would fly, and had them manufactured. Because of my sense of style, I had no difficulty finding the appropriate retail outlets. Making a comfortable commission, I proved to myself that I could design and negotiate.

After 1974, I shifted to menswear. I became the French representative of Peyton a Spanish firm specialized in casual clothes. It was I who introduced their collection to key retailers in Paris such as Old England, Burberry, and Arny’s.

I began meeting people such as Bernard Marras, the art director of Cerruti, who asked me to make two models based upon his sketches.Ace JK

I then felt like developing my own collection, in a ‘casual chic’ spirit. A rue des Archives dressmaker I had met suggested he could produce such a collection.

This first collection, branded Veyrandes, included cashmere & loden jackets, military-styled worker’s jackets in Harris tweed, bush shirts and trousers suits in serge.

Orders came aplenty, at least in Paris, from the customers I just mentioned as well as from Marcel Lassance, who had just launched his own business.

Unfortunately, my partner was unable to produce the collection in his own workshop. We had to use subcontractors — which considerably increased the costs. This venture lasted just through winter.

A friend of mine in response to this setback suggested the time had come to be an entrepreneur. I knew he was right and took the plunge. So, I set up my own company, purchased the fabrics I wanted, and dealt with subcontractors. My products were sold under my own brand.

JK2

FTDF: What was the first brand you really developed?

FF: I first developed “Sunny Side”, a collection of trousers. Thanks to my previous work, I had the opportunity to meet a rather remarkable manufacturer.

Pleated pants were just coming into fashion, and I was one of the first to bring back this style along with Saint Laurent “Rive Gauche” and Renoma.

Although some Parisian shops required that the products sold on their premises bore their brand, Sunny Side developed nicely. Berteil flattered me by placing an order for +3,000 pieces, including trousers and Bermuda shorts for the Spring/Summer 1979.

That was when I started to show my collection at SEHM. To make a bigger impact, I enlarged my product ranges starting first with shirts, then adding ties, and finally jackets and suits.

At the same time, I opened a shop in the Eighth, at the corner of the rue Pasquier and rue Chauveau-Lagarde. I had taken up the lease of an old-fashioned English tailor named Lockwood. Although the store did not speak to the style trends of the time, it had a good reputation. Among Lockwood’s regular customers were some famous peoples as well, the Hemisphere crew.

Once in possession, I renamed the store, Veyrandes. The shop rapidly developed a following in the Madeleine quarter, which has a reputation for being menswear focused.

I must add that I never ran the shop myself. Three years later, the manager died in an accident. I was unable to find a suitable replacement and resold the business in 1986.SEHM

I carried on displaying my VEYRANDES collections at the SEHM.  The show was perfect for nurturing a growing clientele with people overseas such as John Simons in London with whom I still work.

It is thanks to John that J.Keydge appears in that Ivy classic book by Graham Marsh and J.P. Gaul, The Ivy League.  I am honored that we are on the Ivy short list of must haves.

Ivy Book JK

FTDF : You are also famous for your shirts…

FF: Jean-Marie Ménard was one of the best shirt makers in Paris, he was my subcontractor. After a trip to Mauritius for a professional trade fair, I suggest him to set up there a shirt workshop, noticing that all Mauritian factories was working on mass market products, a niche was left for high end product.Cruz

In partnership we opened a small factory called “Chancery shirts”, simultaneously, in order to provide orders with regularity, I opened a wholesale shop in the marais, under the name of “Selective” and I gave the management to one of my former employees.

Four years later, Jean-Marie Ménard died.  I went back to Mauritius with the intention of reselling the plant. I did not receive any decent offer,  However, I discovered two weaving factories on the island, which were able to supply excellent shirt-fabric, even develop special ones.

Fortunately, Jean-Marie Ménard previously recruited and trained a competent professional, Mr Busguth, who worked under him and who could now step into his position and nicely developed the business.

When, in 1994, I introduced the slack jacket to the “selective company”, the product proved to be a sensation.  Turnover from this one item quickly exceeded the shirts ones and we needed larger premises. So we moved to the 18° district. At the same time, Riverwood, a Belgian company, who wanted to buy Chancery, approached us.

From that moment, I have spent all my time and efforts developing the slack jacket.

FTDF: How did you come up with this slack jacket concept?

FF: During the Seventies, I would buy American jackets in secondhand shops. I loved their style, the absence of canvas, and their natural unpadded shoulders.Ace

I was not the only one to be attracted by this ‘unstructured’ type of jacket. In France, in the late Seventies, Marcel Lassance had a shot and Marc Miller also made an investment. However, the market was not ready, and their efforts came to naught.

Ten years later, I felt the time was ripe. The ‘morphological’ shoulder, fully natural, without any padding is hard to get right. The Neapolitans were the masters of this cut for bespoke.  With the help of an excellent pattern maker, I managed to get the shoulder just right.

Contrary to my predecessors, I did not want a formal jacket. I wanted mine to make another kind of statement: to the give the impression that the jacket was built like a pair of jeans. Hence, I used double stitching, underlined edges, lapels, pocket and flap frames.

For the pattern, I was inspired by the sack style made famous by Brooks Brothers and JPress. Such jackets are comfortable in the chest and waist. Although, the classic sack is a two-button affair, I opted for the more serious three-button design.

Apart from that, I simply used the concept of patch pockets with flap and one back vent. If you examine the Preppy style, you will see this signature as a style statement. I called my model Ivy.Ivy

It is my belief that the cultural metaphors around the jacket certainly contribute to the jacket’s continued success. It is as some style pundits state, “The Standard”.

For many seasons, this style was the only one in the J.Keydge collection. As treatments of fabric progressed, we too would add to our ranges with other fabrics and garment dyes and washes.

I knew that the jacket was in need of a name to distinguish it from anything else being sold on the market.

The press picked up the phrase ‘veste molle’. Many trendsetters were rallying around this name, but it was during a dinner party that, I had a revelation when asked about the product. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks: slack jacket.”IVY Madras

It had the perfect ring in tone and insouciance. The next day, I registered the name as a trademark.

FTDF: What year exactly was this jacket created?                                                         

There was no precise year. It really evolved over a period of time. Time and development lead to its birth.

The jacket made its first public appearance at the SEHM in September 1990. It was featured in a fifty-square yard stall where I displayed my more ‘conventional’ collections.

To deliver the slack message, I decided to display the jacket impromptu, hung on a Thonet portmanteau, in a corner of the stand.Swing

People were intrigued. When I saw their reactions, I immediately realized I had hit the bull’s eye. When a customer picked up the jacket to examine it, I would say: ‘Try it on!’

Each time this trigger device worked. Looking in the mirror, the guy was surprised to discover there was no padding, but more surprised yet to see the jacket flattered his figure, giving him an air of authenticity.

FTDF: How did you develop the J.Keydge brand?

FF: SEHM made a major impact. At the September fair, I displayed to people in the trade the following summer collection. At this point, I was firmly of the belief that this was a summer product.

However, one of my customers asked if I could do him the favor of making a fall/winter version in tweed or corduroy. I complied and realized this jacket was perfect for all seasons.

By 1997, the SEHM was no longer what it was, and so I attended the Pitti Uomo in Firenze. It was if I hit pay dirt. I was solicited by both Italian and international customers. Even other exhibitors asked if I would produce for them as well.PITTI 2 PITTI 1

The Pitti Uomo is a great place to network. I met two excellent agents one from Milan and the other from Rome. After working with them for several seasons, the Italian market grew to represent 60% of my turnover.

The other 40% was divided between France, Spain, Belgium, Japan — and a dozen other countries where my products sold in few specialized shops.

FTDF : Where did the name J.Keydge come from?

FF: From my fascination with American culture and all things vintage. At a shop in Sausalito, I stumbled upon a used shirt with Keydges, printed on the chest. I dropped the “s” and that’s how J.Keydge was born.

Who was JK

FTDF:  Who were your first customers?

FF: The Italians were the first to blow my trumpet. Clothes and style in Italy is genetic. It’s in their DNA. They know how to wear clothes with élan, and are enthusiastic consumers. It’s no wonder that Italian menswear industry has conquered the world.

French brands on the other hand have lost their soul. I shouldn’t be too hard on my fellow countrymen. We do have many advocates of our style here.

While I have been to Japan and have 12 key clients, the product has not had the success it has had in Italy. The Japanese in my view are either too formal or trendy. Perhaps, my biggest mistake was to take on a local agent when clients preferred to deal with me directly.JK Beams

It didn’t take long to realize there was a worldwide market for this type of jacket.

At one trade fair, I met an American who was struck by our product. “Brooks Brothers in the mid-1950s did something like this.” I nodded.

Since the Slack has the nonchalance of jeans, its appeal is quite universal. Given a choice many people now prefer its construction to that of more formal lounge suit jackets.

FTDF:  What products are to be found in the current J.Keydge catalogue?

FF: Traditionally, the “Ivy style” represented 80% of sales. It’s appeal as collegiate, sport-oriented and comfortable made it uniquely attractive.

With the advent for slim fit craze, I had to be careful on which path I would walk. An abrupt change in model could be a turnoff. So I designed a more fashion-conscious style. The body fits tighter and the length is shorter. It is a type of Rat Pack redux.STONES

When both Michel Barnes and Albert Goldberg suggested I do more dressy styles. I took their advice although these lines took time to find their niche. Retailers were attached to the Ivy style.Suit JK

As you know however, people change and so does their taste. Thanks to our own in-house workshop, we are better equipped to accommodate different styles for both men and women. Although jackets are still our specialty, we do matching trousers, (slack-suits) riding coats, safari jackets, trench coats, and military capote.Mack JK

I should add, all models are not offered in any one-year’s given collection. We change fabrics, colors and adapt to any given trend. The thing I like most is the pieces should be seen as “classics”. That is to say, stylish and beyond any one fashion.

FTDF: We take it you were a role model for many people. Do you have many competitors?

FF: Where leaders dare walk, others will tread. This is particularly true in Italy. Competition they say is the best form of flattery. Many firms manufacture that type of jacket today. Some are expensive and some really cheap. I like to think of myself as a role model in this field where I have built a great deal of expertise.

However as Coca-Cola once said in one of their adverts, “it’s the real thing”. Likewise, if you want a Slack Jacket, there’s only one.JK

FTDF: How would you define the J.Keydge style?

FF: Design-wise, I always tried to give my models some cultural and functional relevance. I am attached to sobriety. I avoid frills and useless details. I pay specially attention to patterns. I also select fabrics very carefully and often work on them with the suppliers.  

Dressing up in one’s Sunday best is on my blacklist.

J.Keydge style is best defined as Nantucket & Portofino shaken not stirred.JK3

FTDF: What is the profile of the J.Keydge customer?

FF : First, he’s a connoisseur. He has a certain je ne sais quoi. Certainly loves clothes, but is not a fashionista. He is rugged in spirit and unafraid to express his authenticity. He lives life with gusto.JK4

FTDF:  Is the slack jacket a green product?

FF: Yes. Moreover, they are easy to maintain. Toss them in the machine and wash. Organic soap lets the fibers breathe.

FTDF: What is your personal style?

FF: My personal style has three reference points: Italian, English and American. Not in any particular order. All three cultures have shaped style and men’s habits when it comes to good taste and that certain La Dolce Vita attitude.

I think at the end of the day, I love the American approach best with their effortless way of being causal and chic as best embodied on the East Coast, and particularly in New England, the home of preppy chic. This is also the homeland of the original slack jacket.Prewitt J.K

They’ve taken the best Europe has to offer and made their own mash. Clothing innovations adored worldwide were born here whether we speak of selvage, jeans, oxford button-downs, the sack cut, and moccasins. Causal chic is an American style forte. Just think of the natural shoulder. It’s not for nothing that certain Italian firms have chosen “American” names to codify their brands.

FTDF: And your definition of elegance?

FF: If I had to choose one word, it would be simplicity. Simplicity embodies integrity and respect for self and others. Circumstances dictate what to wear and when. Never dress for show; it’s so false.

An elegant man knows the rules. Better still he knows when to break them. He also understands the glory of color without being a peacock.Quad JK

You know, often I come across complete strangers in my travels wearing my Slack jacket. It makes me proud because each was wearing it with “allure”, turning this simple garment into a personal statement of who they are. Sometimes it’s a Hermes Vintage Square causally stuffed into the breast pocket, sometimes worn over a black turtleneck or an incredible colored polo shirt.

However it’s done, I enjoy their unique style.

Many thanks to François Ferdinand for his knowledge and kindness.

Interview conducted by PAL and VM. Paris, July 2012. All rights reserved.

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Classé dans Interviews in English

Pitti Uomo 83

Comme certains d’entre vous le savent déjà nous nous sommes récemment rendus à Florence à l’occasion du Pitti Uomo.

Il y a quelques enseignements à tirer de cette session du salon le plus sérieux concernant l’habillement masculin.

Voyageur & Tote Bag Mannequin

Le premier, sans doute le plus rassurant, est que malgré la crise assez violente qui touche le secteur depuis maintenant plusieurs saisons, il y a toujours des fabricants et des marques qui s’efforcent de continuer à faire de vrais beaux produits, chose que l’on a parfois tendance à oublier lorsque l’on se promène toute l’année à Paris, capitale de la France et du Faux Luxe.

Le deuxième est que le Pitti permet d’illustrer de manière édifiante à quel point le streetstyle a un impact sur le business actuel. En effet, les photographes pour divers blogs et magazines n’ont jamais été aussi présents qu’à cette édition, et même si seulement une infime quantité de photos ressort à la surface, il est difficile de marcher dix mètres sur le salon sans se faire tirer dessus. Certains professionnels essaient bien évidemment de tirer parti de ce phénomène qui constitue d’une certaine manière une communication à moindre frais. Néanmoins, cela a aussi pour conséquence que certaines personnes, dans l’espoir de se faire remarquer, s’habillent (délibérément) de manière improbable. Ils n’ont sans doute pas pris conscience du fait que le streetstyle est en partie une arnaque, car 90% des sujets que l’on voit apparaître en photos sur les supports relayant cet évènement, sont soit des incontournables  tels que Nick Wooster ou Luca Rubinacci ou de personnes qui sont tout simplement des amis ou connaissances des photographes en question. Dès lors, l’authenticité du streetstyle qui se voulait être sa genèse  en prend un sacré coup. C’est d’ailleurs pourquoi, on essaie de vous faire croire à l’émergence de tendances inexistantes telles que le port du châle ou celui du chapeau de femme alors que seuls trois disciples de Robert Rabensteiner en portaient sur le salon.

Voici néanmoins une petite sélection de photos illustrant cette édition.

The Armoury Beyond Fabric YK Pitti Pitti2 Mode Hunter Pitti Selectism Billionaire.com AB2 L'eleganza IJ AL A.S Tommy Ton Akamine Four PINS Dress Like A Four Pins Four Pins Lino Ieluzzi/Gianni Fontana Four Pins 2 Four Pins 3 Gian Luca Bocache Tommy Ton GQ Permanent Style Tommy Ton GQ Ricci Lino Rubinacci Tommy Ton GQ STREETFSN Tommy Ton GQ2 Tommy Ton GQ3 Valentino Ricci Four Pins Click on the picture to get the source.

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Classé dans Réflexions / Sartorial Thoughts