Style that says more
27/09/18 Germanier Unveils Christian Louboutin Collaboration

Germanier launches his much-hyped collaboration with the legendary shoe label, unveiling eight pairs, including stilettos and high boots, made from leather scraps or reworked stock provided by Louboutin.

It’s rather impressive that in his short fashion life, the Swiss designer Kévin Germanier has managed to successfully carve out a niche for his disco-esque, digitalised and unabashedly feminine aesthetic and take on sustainable fashion. It’s got industry heavy-weights sitting up and taking notice, too.

Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in July 2017, Germanier’s interest in sustainability was born of practicality. As a student in London, he didn’t have enough money to buy the fabrics required to elaborate upon his ideas. The young designer admits to feeling ashamed because he was using his flatmate’s leftover fabrics, and was lying to his tutors about their provenance. He has now fully embraced the notion of upcycling and recycling and admits that the key to creating sustainable clothes is to compromise. “Limitations make me more creative,” he says. “It is my job as a young fashion designer to find solutions and to make it work no matter what… I wanted to be radical.”

His eponymous autumn/winter 2018 collection is packed full of glamorous garments, and with a surprising story: many of the fabrics were made with discarded beads once destined for landfill.

“I’ve spent almost 2 years perfecting the technique, so I was feeling pretty confident,” Germanier says, about sprinkling sheer bodysuits and colourful dresses with the little plastic beads and a silicone material that is part of his “secret ingredients”. This results in dashes of rainbow colours instinctively thrown on the clothes as the thousands of beads sparkle in a kaleidoscopic effect. He found them in Hong Kong during a six-month work placement, a prize for having won the EcoChic Design Award. The beads were being discarded because they were not the right colour, but Germanier decided to rescue them, and brought 93 bags of beads back to London, for which he paid 10 dollars.

 

Image courtesy: Nikolay Biryukov

 

Next up, for spring 2019, the boy wonder Swiss designer is stepping out with a footwear capsule designed in collaboration with Christian Louboutin. The collection will include eight pairs of shoes, including coloured stilettos with caviar beading and high boots, made from leather leftovers or reworked stock provided by Louboutin. 

 

 

“Creativity and sustainability are at the exact same level in my brain, and it’s never about making something slightly less sustainable or vice versa. The world won’t evolve if people think like that,” explains Germanier.“The Germanier woman respects the past, she is aware of the present, but she is already living in the future,” says the designer, in the same breath insisting that sustainable fashion can be desirable, sexy, feminine, dazzling, shiny and glamorous – adjectives that were rarely used to describe sustainably-led clothes before. With his ultimate aim to change the way we think about sustainable fashion.

Based in Paris, the designer has recently given up his day job, for Louis Vuitton, as a junior designer and is putting an end to his double life where for months, after a day in the leather goods studio for the luxury giant, his nights have been spent working on his own label – an indication of his work ethic, and one which may well help him to achieve his dream: becoming creative director of Christian Dior.

Fittingly, his aim is to grow without compromising his ethos and the designer is in no rush to add more hands to his team if they can’t be paid and valued.

This, most definitely, is a designer to watch.

 

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"Products should be used for as long as possible, through good care, repair, refurbishment and sharing among multiple users" Ellen MacArthur