Emeric Tchatchoua of 3.Paradis on taking his birthday brand global
Nothing like being one of a kind in fashion, which sums up Emeric Tchatchoua, the Paris-born but Canadian-raised LVMH finalist whose brand 3.Paradis was named this week one of the 10 labels participating in Rimowa’s novel charity project.
This spring, Tchatchoua was elected Menswear Designer of the Year at the Canadian Arts and Crafts Awards (CAFA); this summer, 3.Paradis opened a well-located space inside La Samaritaine, Paris’ most happening luxury emporium.
A novel and natty blend of street style, poetic imagery, romantic tailoring and Canadian chutzpah, Tchatchoua’s evident drive is only contrasted by his modest demeanor and courtly manners. His influences include Ivy League; '90s Japanese streetwear and African iconography, in a wardrobe that varies from strong and structured creative tailoring to slouchier street silhouettes. His style and philosophy promotes diversity and multiculturalism with clothes that span gender, origin and culture.
His latest collection, entitled Let the Wind Blow Back, features white doves flying up puffers and leggings, or fluttering on power shoulder white blazers. He even showed shirts, again with doves, over his own “infinite knot” monogram logo pattern, a young designer very clued in commercially.
In the new Vol. 1 collection for Rimowa, Tchatchoua celebrates “freedom and the ability to travel again” by printing his trademark bird in flight on the grooved aluminum shell of a Rimowa Original Check-In L suitcase – symbolizing caged birds being allowed to fly free. The same design was applied to the German baggage brand’s Never Still Tote and Personal Aluminum Cross-Body Bag.
Back in 2013, Tchatchoua founded his own brand in Montreal; a half-decade later he made it to the LVMH Prize semi-finals of 2019. Now his ideas retail in key destination like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Farfetch and Holt Renfrew along with hipster locales such as GR8 in Tokyo; Luisa Via Roma; Club21 and Aizel in Moscow. While the likes of Bella Hadid, Billie Eilish or Dua Lipa have all worn 3.Paradis.
So, we caught up with Emeric for a discussion on how he turned a student vision into a hot brand that even boasts its own foundation, despite its fledgling status.
FashionNetwork.com: Where did you get the name 3.Paradis?
Emeric Tchatchoua: Three is my lucky number, as I was born on January 3; and it's the equilibrium of spirit, body and soul. Plus, everyone wants to go to paradise. It represents how I found my happy place in art and fashion – which is the brand’s purpose.
FNW: Why did you move to Canada?
ET: My dad was a diplomat for the United Nations – in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, and before in North America. He had a statistics office based in Montreal. I moved there in 2001, aged 13.
FNW: Where and when was your first collection and show?
ET: My first real collection was in 2014 and then in 2015 – my first entire collection – in Toronto. We are based in Montreal – which was very good as we first focused on the Canadian market. Though that does not train you for worldwide market. I began by making clothes for friends, and I took private classes in pattern making and textiles.
FNW: How much help was being nominated for the LVMH Prize?
ET: The best thing was for my confidence. At that time, I was asking myself lots of questions and had plenty of doubts. Afterwards, I felt better about the direction I wanted to take. I realized there might be something there.
And I also met many pole who inspired me. Also, LVMH adds a cachet and people took me more seriously. They even came in my showroom in 247/Showroom in Paris. Sophie Brocart (LVMH’s mentor for young designers and CEO of Patou) came and we spoke for an hour and a half. And I was disappointed she was not a buyer!
FNW: What did it mean to open in La Samaritaine?
ET: We are in a great location, at the main entrance on ground floor rue du Rivoli. Within one month there was almost nothing left! That side of La Samaritaine has brought freshness to the retail market here. It’s my fave’ department store in Paris.
FNW: How did it feel to dress people Bella Hadid, Billie Eilish or Dua Lipa?
ET: I’m proud of course as these are people I love, especially Billie Eilish’s music. But I am also humble that people are interested in my work. Bella Hadid, who wore our blazer with a stitched dollar bill sign, came and spoke about that to me at the LVMH event. The idea behind that blazer being that starting from humble beginnings you can go on to be successful. She told me about her dad, and how when he came from Palestine to the US his first acquisition was a suit. Recently Kylian Mbappe wore my black T-Shirt with a dove on it, which I loved. I’m a PSG fan – and I revere players like Samuel Et’o, or Ronaldinho. I loved the way they made me adore soccer, as they were more artists than players.
FNW: What’s your role in Rimowa collab?
ET: They are going to auction the suitcases – in a series of collabs with 10 designers for UNICEF, which will happen in New York on November 18. I think it is a great project. And we are working on something with PSG in March; we are planning a full capsule collab and jerseys to sell for their foundation.
FNW: What do you want to achieve with your Foundation Paradis?
ET: To give something back to people in multiple communities. To offer youth fresh opportunities. And with PSG, to aid disabled people so they can play soccer and see it and better integrate into society.
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