Photography by Nika Baeva, fashion by Fatya and Alina Gobeti.
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Throughout history, fashion has been criticized for being superficial and out of touch with reality. As sociologist Yuniya Kawamura writes in her book Fashion-ology from 2005, fashion has been attacked by both scholars and feminists and didn’t become a legitimate research topic until recently (basically in the eighties, when fashion studies was established as an academic field). She quotes Sandra Niessen and Anne Brydon, who describe different historical attitudes towards fashion: “Social analyses uniformly condemned fashion. Feminists critiqued the sexual politics and gender oppression inhering in clothing which hobble and confine women. Marxists critiqued the fetishism of fashion and the ideology of conspicuous consumption. Psychologists treated fashion adherence as pathology.” By Maria Ben Saad
My first encounter with Ann-Sofie took place at Beckmans College of Design in the mid-nineties. She was a student in fashion design and I was a guest teacher, doing a course in fashion communication. Since the course was quite short, about a week, I didn’t get any real insight into what Ann-Sofie was about, but what struck me was her extremely personal and intellectual approach to fashion, something unusual in Swedish fashion education at the time. By Maria Ben Saad
Unlike other fashion brands, Alexandre Mattiussi’s business has thrived during the pandemic, making him even more intriguing. In conversation, he’s animated and curious, as well as self-critical. No matter how much AMI has developed, the French designer doesn’t rest on his laurels and keeps working with the same passion and care. In this exclusive interview, Mattiussi recalls his humble beginnings, why he enjoys being back at work with his team, and how age is really just a number. Interview by Philippe Pourhashemi.
Womenswear designer Meryll Rogge, who honed her skills at Marc Jacobs in New York and Dries Van Noten in Antwerp, is a great illustration of how a young fashion brand can capture the attention of prestigious retailers within a couple of seasons, including the likes of NET-A-PORTER, SSENSE, Nordstrom, Maxfield, and many others. That is quite an achievement, considering the kind of context our world has lived in for the past year and a half. Interview with Meryll Rogge by Philippe Pourhashemi.
Pierre-François Valette certainly had no idea he would be faced with a global pandemic when VALETTE STUDIO was born last year, a beautiful menswear brand updating key concepts of tailoring, savoir-faire and craftsmanship. Still, that did not prevent the French designer from pursuing his dreams and we should be thankful that young creatives like him are willing to take such risks. Turns out that fresh independent brands are appreciated by a select clientele, favoring quality and care over hype and logos. Interview by Philippe Pourhashemi.