Q&A – Pierre Mahéo
Founder, Officine Générale France
For four years Pierre Mahéo has charmed the menswear world with his elegantly understated designs. Now he is diving into womenswear for the first time with an equally sleek collection.
What prompted you to do a women’s line?
At the end of my last men’s catwalk show in Paris in January, two female journalists asked, “When will you make a women’s collection?” I spoke to my wife and decided: why not? It took me three days to draw and imagine the pieces. After four weeks I received the collection.
How did you translate Officine Générale into womenswear?
I took what I thought women liked about Officine Générale menswear and reproduced it for their shapes and sizes. I borrowed several pieces from the men’s collection, including jackets, a parka and a corduroy suit, but adjusted the cut and fit. For example, a women’s coat is larger and has more defined shoulders. The difference is subtle.
You make your line around the world but not in France. Why?
It’s a problem of mentality. When you start and are small, French makers are not interested. But when you are growing they come to you; the same people who slammed the door in your face. I don’t work that way.
Made in Portugal
Officine Générale’s production is an international affair. Most clothes are made in Porto though its Shetland sweaters are sewn in Scotland, shoes in the UK, and merino sweaters and women’s sandals in Italy.
The eyewear brand has unveiled its first global flagships: in Tokyo and Osaka. Both spaces were dreamt up by Tokyo firm Landscape Design and feature blonde-wood vitrines filled with delicate “Made In Japan” shades and spectacles. Assistants in grey Comoli uniforms will show you 10 Eyevan: a line created for the new shops using 10 materials, including sterling silver and 18-carat gold.
When LA architect Ron Radziner couldn’t find any men’s jewellery to his liking he started his own line. Metalworkers at Marmol Radziner, his architecture firm, created a cuff based on a scrap of metal he found. Seven years on the label has branched out into men’s and women’s rings, pendants and bracelets, all with a geometric aesthetic.
“Dyeing is an unpredictable process: the most minute variations in temperature, pH levels or dilution can throw off entire runs, turning a luscious red into a spotty brown,” says Bobby Bonaparte, who runs this LA-based unisex label with Max Kingery.
It is the use of natural dyes that sets Olderbrother apart, injecting its relaxed designs – drop-shoulder sweaters or oversized button-downs – with piercing colours, whether blue (from indigo), brown (from coffee) or yellow (from turmeric, pictured). Its designs can be picked up at Beams, Opening Ceremony and Portland’s Frances May.
In anticipation of the 35th America’s Cup, the sailing competition held this year in Bermuda during May and June, Louis Vuitton has created a collection of men’s jackets, shorts, shoes and accessories in navy, white and yellow. Our top picks are this checked cotton fouta (pictured) and its matching crewneck pullover.
The Beckel family has been making hardy tents and bags for 40 years. Its handmade wares – such as this Possibilities bag (pictured) – can be found at its shop in Portland, Oregon.
Loewe has launched a womenswear collection inspired by Paula’s, a glamorous boutique in Ibiza’s Old Town from 1972 to 2000. The cheery patterns on espadrilles, dresses and skirts are based on the prints from Paula’s in-house line.
This colourful cap label is the creation of Ben Ferencz, who lives in Montana, and New Yorker Martin Carvajal. The pair met while making custom bicycles for a shop in Manhattan and in 2011 decided to launch a line of flat-brims. Each model – from the tomato-red flannel cap to the faded-blue twill number – is made in California.
Based in Bolzano, this womenswear label’s starting point is the blauer schurz: the embroidered cotton aprons worn by the farmers and craftsmen of South Tyrol. Its debut collection is just five pieces, all in deep cobalt. “We’ve gone for simple designs because we want our clothes to become everyday classics,” says Anna Quinz, who founded the label with husband Fabio Dalvit.
All 15 scents at Bon Parfumeur, the label launched by Ludovic Bonneton last year, are made in France and intended to be mixed and matched. They come in bottles designed by Ronan Teissèdre, former creative director at Sonia Rykiel, and can be found at the brand’s new boutique in Le Marais, Paris.