During the Paris menswear show, our Paris correspondent Barbara Markert searched for innovative labels and found them. Here is her selection:
Elmer by Swany
To combine the functionality of sportswear with an urbanwear design–that is the goal of Elmer by Swany, which specializes in gloves. The company looks back on a long history: Elmer Little & Sons was founded in the USA in 1893. At that time, the first gloves made of deerskin were produced by using old English techniques. In 1987, the ski glove specialist Swany acquired the company and about four years ago, the Japanese took over the brand Elmer by Swany. Quality materials such as wool, cashmere and down are combined with functional textiles such as Goretex and windstoppers and implemented in an urban design. Many models, such as the bestseller EM304, are designed as fingered or mittens. Synthetic fibers as well as many wool qualities are recycled. Today, the brand wants to establish itself not only for use in sports, but also in the city. The wholesale prices are between €60 and €120.
"Il flotte" in French means it rains cats and dogs. Mikael and Lyly Pan design their raincoats for just such weather. The two Frenchmen, who come from the family of coat specialists "On parle de vous,” were well aware that they were entering into a highly competitive market. At first glance, their jackets look very much like the icon of all rain jackets, K-Way, and like the big brother, the rainjackets can be packed into a bag when the sun suddenly comes out. But this is exactly where the difference lies. The integrated bag in the size of 35 to 20 cm offers enough space to transport other things in it. The new model can even be used as a backpack or crossover bag. The jackets are available in a short and long version, are partly made of recycled nylon and have a water column of 4000 mm WS. Produced in China, there are 13 different colors and they are all packed in a round cardboard box. The retail prices are between €79 and €99.
The Euyen brand from Tokyo, which was only founded in 2018, has as concept to design "for our future.” The shoes just entering the European market with the current collection are made of completely degradable and natural materials and contain no toxic elements. The sole is made of natural rubber, but is still quite light. Akiko Imaizumi says: "At Euyen we are inspired by Véjà, but we want to have shoes that weigh even less.“ So, the enterprise has developed a rubber foam sole, on which it has a patent. The upper material is made of hemp, soya or organic cotton. The bonding is made of rubber. Dyed with natural colors on a flower and vegetable basis, the lining is made of hemp or cotton. The packaging is also recycled paper. The shoes are made in Southeast Asia and have a wholesale price of about €70.
Slogans, Walt Disney figures or flags decorate Louis Vuitton Speedys and other bags of the French luxury manufacturer. But the customizing does not come from Louis Vuitton, but from Miami. Philip Karto, who comes from Cannes in the south of France, lives there. In his studio, he completely disassembles vintage bags from the luxury manufacturer, sews them together again in a different way and then paints them. All his models are unique pieces. The 46-year-old doesn't have any copyright problems with Louis Vuitton, because "it's art.” The Frenchman, who is inspired by the biker and rock-’n’-roll scene, founded his company in 2018, starting with jewelry, then textiles, which he also paints and customizes, and has also his own line of alligator leather. Retail prices are around €3000.
Ziggy Chen from Shanghai founded his eponymous brand in 2012 and wants to blend the traditional Chinese savoir faire with a sharp contemporary attitude. Since the beginning he is researching new solutions in terms of patterns, details, volumes and new materials, developing new fabrics. Thus he combines washed wool, cashmere or linen with metal threads that create certain styling effects that can last forever. Most of the materials come from Italy and are sewn in China. The collection is unisex and captivates with a very stringent design language that combines inspirations from 1920s Shanghai with modernity and blends Western and Eastern design. Due to the very noble materials the garments are expensive. Coats wholesale between €900 and €1200. Ziggy Chen is already represented at some important retailers such as L'Eclairieur and Farfetch.