It’s Tour de France week here at D’Marge, which means in addition to eating lots of Brie and refusing to shower, we’re celebrating by putting the spotlight on French fashion. Today we’ve got a round-up of a few of our favourite French menswear brands, which are mixing France’s legendary chicness with upscale charm, relaxed elegance and cool urban streetwear. The combo sounds like it should be too weird to work, but these labels are proving that it absolutely does.
AMI is the brainchild of Alexandre Mattiussi, who studied menswear design at Duperré fashion design school in Paris before working with a string of major labels including Dior, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs Men. He launched his own brand in 2011, creating the name ‘AMI’ from his initials and the last letter of his name. AMI’s ready-to-wear collection blends quality and sophistication with affordable prices. It’s a complete men’s wardrobe, all well-designed, easy, chic and above all, cool.
Surface To Air
When Surface To Air started in the late 90s, it consisted of a group of friends with one goal: to work on projects they liked. Over the years, those diverse projects have turned Surface To Air into a unique, multidisciplinary company that works across creative domains including fashion, graphics, photography, design, music and film. Their international success has led to collaborations with the likes of Banksy, Justice, Louis Vuitton, Faile, Chromeo and Kanye West.
A.P.C. (Atelier de Production et de Création) was founded in 1987, and since has established itself as a leader in the urban menswear market. The cult French label’s minimalist staples, the work of Tunisian-Jewish born designer Jean Touitou, are known for their clean lines, simple patterns, military influence and almost complete lack of visible logos. Most recently, A.P.C. partnered up with Kanye West for a 14-piece collection that includes a paparazzi-proof ski mask made from Australian wool.
Since modestly sized fashion store Pigalle opened its doors in Paris, its daring yet accessible designs have earned international recognition and legions of fans (including guys like A$AP Rocky). What started as a multi-disciplinary, passionate, productive group of young Parisians called the Pain Au Chocolat collective is now a menswear label with a melting pot of different influences. Pigalle mixes traditional tailoring and an artisanal approach to sportswear with just the right amount of street cred.
At BWGH, Brooklyn’s in the name but French menswear is the game. BWGH stands for Brooklyn We Go Hard, and since 2010 they’ve been designing men’s clothing, organising cultural events and publishing a bi-annual magazine. It all started with two Parisian childhood friends who used photographs for inspiration while designing their garments. The result is a label that merges fashion and photography, along with detail-oriented designs that incorporate ancient embroidery techniques and a fine selection of fabrics.