Jacquemus, Louis Vuitton… why the south attracts fashion designers

INTERVIEW – fashion shows, exhibitions, festivals, the South-East of France, dear to artists for centuries, saw a renewed creative new. Dive in the heart of the culture, color Mediterranean.

The sun, the cicadas and the sea. If this triptych gearbox defines the South, we must add the accent gruff and the culture thriving. The mode is not deceived and invests the region : the City Guides Louis Vuitton have chosen Arles for their first edition of the legislature. “It’s become a destination in vogue, the New York Times has ranked among the “52 places to go” in 2018. New hotels, restaurants, museums and art foundations, such dynamism is probably unique in the world at the scale of a city of 50 000 inhabitants“, explains Julien Guerrier, editorial director of éditions Louis Vuitton. Gucci, also love, has organized his latest Cruise fashion show in the city, which is not the only one to attract artists and creators. Marseille recently hosted the shows of the houses Koché and Jacquemus. We interviewed their creators on the vision they have of this abundance.

Why have you decided to do a parade in Marseille ?

Christelle Kocher : The Home Mode, the Mediterranean has given me carte blanche to scroll during the festival OpenMyMed which exists since three years. Take the brand in another city, I had always been seduced, we have already invested in New York or Tokyo. Marseille has this colour, this energy multicultural special that speaks to me.

Simon Porte Jacquemus : I didn’t want to start a first men’s collection in Paris. I wanted to seal this pact, I have since my debut with Marseille, where I shoot all my campaigns. My man is deeply mediterranean.

Why was this a particular moment, out of time of paris Fashion Week ?

C. K. : That gave me a great sense of freedom. Beyond the parade on a cruise ship, I was able to organize two exhibitions in the city, including one performed with curator Anissa Touati, featuring artists such as Olivier Mosset, Gabriel Rico, Douglas Gordon or John Armleder. I wanted to invite contemporary art and to mingle with the fashion.

S. P. J. : I’ve always liked putting me out of things. Besides, I’ve always been, arriving without any contacts in Paris, at the age of 19, and scrolling through my friends in the street. I also created a new day in the Fashion Week, putting me at the beginning of the calendar. This time, for the Man, I pass the last in another city. I acted as a great house that would make a Cruise collection elsewhere. I said to the people : “Here, this is my territory, you must come.” There is an element of risk.

What is this region inspires you ?

C. K. : Marseille has a mix of populations and an opening on the seam, entrepreneurial and very dynamic. It is also a port, there is an opening on the sea and elsewhere. It is a gateway to Africa, we feel an influence of north african, Italian, with something very solar. This reminds me of some poets, such as Rimbaud who has been on several trips here. It has a dynamism that emanates from the youth. Within my team, there are people of all countries, my seamstress moroccan my assistant in hong kong.

S. P. J. : Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh were already inspired by the light of the South. In the world of fashion, from Christian Lacroix, few people have as much claimed me. We always tend, as a creator, to define themselves as parisian. Me, I’m a guy from the South, I see it as a strength. In my first men’s collection, there are characters here as the supporter of the OM in the blue sky, the swimmer in a bathing suit and parka, someone of the more classic out of its course of sailing, the Gypsy, the boy who goes to a wedding with a shirt sunflower and too much jewelry…

What is it that appeals to you particularly ?

C. K. : By my working-class origins, my education, my career, Marseille me corresponds in its configuration. Even if I like the idea of belonging to a generation more than one territory.

S. P. J. : The energy here pleases me, I pushed at the sun. I came to Paris to do my job, but I am a peasant’s son who grew up in the fields. This is me, this South. I am magnetized.

What is the first thing you do coming here ?

C. K. : In coming, this time, I first made a casting. I did scroll as local. I also went to capture, in film, in the light of the morning.

S. P. J. : I’m going to my grandmother’s house. I opened his little green gate, and I see it.

What looks like your South to you ?

C. K. : It is the sea. It evokes something new to discover. I would have loved to be an explorer at the time of Magellan. I’ve always loved traveling, which made it crazy my parents. 18 years ago, for example, I am the only one in China.

S. P. J. : What comes to mind for me, it is a quiet, the sound of a creek, a moped, a child who cries, the singing of the cicadas, it is the one of the South land. This is my Southern dream.

Who are the women and men of the South ?

C. K. : people of the sunny personality enthusiastic and positive. I don’t watch so much their physical, because it is never something that stops me.


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