Patrik Ervell, Creative Director of Vince menswear, sets out new collection’s vision
US label Vince is a significant presence in its own country, and it now has ambitious growth plans for Europe, where it is still little known. Founded in 2002, Vince made a name for itself with its laid-back style, creating women's cashmere knitwear with a distinctly Californian vibe. Five years later, Vince introduced menswear too. Last January, the label gave a boost to its European expansion plans and reached a new milestone, presenting its first menswear collection, created by American designer Patrik Ervell, in Paris. FashionNetwork.com met with Patrik Ervell, whose arrival in Europe was eagerly awaited, and who has been active with his own fashion label for ten years.
What are the distinctive traits of this menswear collection?
It's a new departure for Vince's menswear, and the first collection I designed for the label. It's important to bear in mind we have a strong connection with Los Angeles, where Vince is based. There are many clichés associated with Los Angeles, and the idea was to offer a different, less hackneyed vision of the city. For this season, Autumn/Winter 2018-19, I dipped into a certain kind of nostalgia. There is something of a 1970s mood in the colours and the styles. I don't want to create collections that are complicated. I wanted to design a fine collection of basic items, and nice clothes made with European and Japanese fabrics.
How would you define Vince’s men's style?
The look is very classic yet easy-going. The label's cornerstone are fine casual clothes, with a preference for sweaters and knitwear. The mood is truly Californian. But we've added a tech touch, with innovative materials and/or accessories. For example, in the case of the zipped jacket in quilted nylon. We don't want our customers to go chasing after the latest novelties. In fact, we aren't interested in novelty for novelty's sake.
What makes Vince so Californian?
It's self-evident. Personally, I was raised in San Francisco and I consider myself more Californian than American. It's the same for the label. California, its lifestyle and its climate, are associated with a really distinctive aesthetic. It wasn't by chance that brands like Patagonia and The North Face were born in California. There is also a strong connection with nature. For Vince, I drew inspiration from the outdoors, and from sport. I notably used fleece to make clothes which are also elegant.
Will you continue to design collections for your own label?
No, I opted to put my label on stand-by and dedicate myself fully to Vince. It's not a major change anyway, I'm still a designer and I create clothes. I've run my label for 10 years. I was involved in everything, as is often the case with small organisations. But sometimes it's quite a burden. [With Vince], I simply have to concentrate on the clothes. It's a little easier for me, even though I know that we must keep an eye on sales and, of course, I cannot just do anything I like. Nevertheless, there are a lot of possibilities.
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