Talking (sub)culture with April77 and Satisfy founder Brice Partouche
Bringing Cult into Running Culture
In 2001 Brice Partouche became a prominent name (without ever stepping into the limelight) in the so-called ‘rock era’ in fashion when he founded Paris-based jeans brand April77, which played a pinnacle role in bringing the slim silhouette in menswear from the stages of pop venues and runways to the streets of the mainstream. Last Summer, Brice presented a new project named Satisfy, this time infusing a new cultural elan into the perfect, performance orientated, world of running gear. Inspired by Partouche's new exciting endeavor, with the second collection in stores at this moment, we gave Brice a skypecall —fresh out of the shower after his evening run— to ask him about his love for running, the differences between starting a brand now and 15 years ago and what his plans are with his subversive new movement in athletic gear. [ Continue reading ]
Today, on World Refugee Day 2016, UN refugee agency UNHCR released its latest annual global trends study and the numbers are shocking. The words 'refugee crisis' have been used continuously over the last few years in The Netherlands, and throughout Western Europe for that matter, yet with every encounter they slowly seem to lose their representation of urgency. With the new numbers being released, for us, it's very clear now that the problem hasn't been more urgent, ever. And that, despite European politicians seeming to hope that the problem will dissolve by itself at one point or another and all that needs to be done is to stall until that moment, without any structural solutions being enforced. Today's numbers leave no room for misinterpretation. 'Refugee crisis' is currently predominantly being used for the flow of Syrian refugees into Europe via Greece, yet the 'crisis' clearly is a worldwide phenomenon, in which we feel that we all should help a little to find a way to tip the momentum in the opposite direction than its been moving towards for a little while now.
As of the end of 2015, 65.000.000 men, women and children were forced from their homes by war and persecution last year, leaving, one in every 113 people a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum at the end of 2015, according to the numbers just released by the UN. These numbers rose sharply compared to last year, increasing from 59.500.000 in December 2014 to 65.300.000 in December 2015. This means that every minute 24 people are being displaced. It also means that if the 65.300.000 were to be counted as the population of a single country, it would be the 21st largest in the world. Quite shocking indeed.
In order to just raise a tiny little bit awareness about the current precarious situation, on a day like today, we would like to share the latest work by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, being exhibited in Athens at The Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) since the 20th of May. Ai Weiwei’s collaboration with the MCA begun in 2015 and following the Museum’s invitation, the artist visited Athens as well as the island of Lesbos. He has since set up a studio on the island to create art that will draw attention to the refugee crisis in Greece. The MCA will be donating 10% of all exhibition proceeds to two NGOs; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Greek NGO METAdrasi, who are providing valuable aid to the refugee crisis in Greece. [ Continue reading ]
Last Saturday, an inspirational new exhibition opened in Antwerp's current temporary new platform for its creative community named Born in Antwerp. After some of the city's younger creatives were given (literally, in several former warehouses at the former harbor area named Kattendijkdok) space to present their vision, now renown fashion designer Bruno Pieters took the stage to put together an exhibition which explicitly portrays the new direction he has taken in his discipline. Formerly known for his namesake label and three years as menswear designer of HUGO by Hugo Boss, in 2010 he stepped away from it all and took a sabbatical, in which he spent a lot of time traveling through India in search for peace of mind. In January 2012, he returned to make what Oliver Horton in The New York Times described as a “revolutionary” new statement in the fashion world with his new company, Honest By - the world's first 100% transparent company and pioneer in price transparency. Honest By publishes its entire supply chain for every product it creates and translates this into total price transparency.
'(Behind) the Clothes' distills this inspirational new vision of the designer back into the large exhibition space at the Kattendijkdok. With the insightful exhibition, Pieters shows how he not only offers totally ethical, environmentally-friendly designs, but also leads the way in offering 100% transparency to the consumer. There are two parts to the exhibition: ’The Clothes’ and ‘Behind the Clothes’, which combined form a remarkable insightful representation of what the future of fashion should be, and hopefully at least partly will be. [ Continue reading ]
There are very few people who have inspired us more than Japanese master Kenya Hara. After his never-ending source for inspiration 'Designing Design' and 'White', the visionary force behind MUJI has returned with another insightful gem named 'Ex-formation', which was released today - brought to our attention in the latest Currently of our good friend Samuel de Goede. The concept of exformation, to which a chapter was already devoted in 'Designing Design', continues to preoccupy the Japanese designer. In contrast to 'information,' 'exformation' describes how little we really know and thus becomes the starting point for any type of design. Based on a range of projects stemming from Kenya Hara’s teaching at the Musashino Art University, the book describes what 'exformation' can look like in design practice and how this concept alters our classic understanding of information design. Following the path embarked on with his first two books, 'Ex-formation' continues to explore the void, absence, and indeterminacy in contemporary design through the vision of one of the undisputed icons of modern design. [ Continue reading ]
For the just released 12th issue of Journal de Nîmes we travelled to Antwerp to speak with retail pioneer and well-respected figure within the fashion industry: Geert Bruloot. The curator of the current shoe exhibition in the ever-inspiring MoMu has played a pinnacle role in the road to stardom of the infamous Antwerp Six, which he sold before any one else at the avant-garde designer store Louis and exclusive footwear boutique Coccodrillo. On that rainy wednesdayafternoon we sat down with him and talked about the main theme of the issue 'new vintage', the importance of the experience in a fashion store and the need for rebellion in these times of homogeneity.
— As published in Journal de Nîmes No 12 — [ Continue reading ]
The New York Times recently named him a 'Digital Tastemaker for Young Men', and although we aren't as young as we were when we discovered him through his inspirational blog 'Words for Young Men', the multitalented New York-based creative Chris Black continues to be one of the people out there we hold in the highest regard for his inspirational vision and output. Before starting his blog 'Words for Young Men', the Atlanta-born was part of the early wave of people creating campaigns for social media, leading the way in a field of practice which has slowly devaluated into a metrics-obsessed monster of mediocrity and boredom, worlds apart from the cutting edge creative thinking that dominated it in the early days. Chris himself has been doing so much more than just social media in recent years, working through his creative agency named Done To Death Projects. Next to a focus on strategy and creative direction for clients, he does whatever he feels like: from publishing books and zines with different highly talented young photographers to putting out t-shirts. With Chris being such an inspiration for us, we asked him some questions on what inspires him in life. [ Continue reading ]