The LVMH Prize is one of the most prestigious fashion design competitions. It propels young designers in front of the eyes of the industry’s most powerful names, offering creative mentorship, financial support, and limelight. As we count down to the final ceremony on June 6, CR spotlights the nine finalists on this year’s roster.
Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, graduates of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Arts and Amsterdam’s Fashion Institute respectively, looked to their roots for the inspiration behind emerging fashion brand, Botter. After Rushemy met Lisi, who was then interning at Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam, the pair launched a line that defied conventions of design, gender, and form. The duo’s avant-garde creations have taken cues from the colorful textiles and playful patterns from the Caribbean, from which Rushemy’s family hails, and courting the praise of none other than Naomi Campbell, rapper Young Thug, and Sampha in the process.
For Botter’s debut collection, men of color donned colorful designs adorned with fluorescent netting while Fall/Winter 2018 was inspired by the tourism in the Caribbean. Here, CR caught up with Rushemy Botter about what informs his designs and how his celebrity collaborations with Young Thug and Sampha came to be.
What was the biggest inspiration behind the FW18 collection and why?
Botter: We got inspired by the way older tourists dress when they go on vacation to the Caribbean paradise. They book all inclusive hotels and don’t step a foot out the resort because they’re afraid for the locals. It’s just like a zoo. We played with the way they wear their towels and the way they sit around the pool all day and walk around with their safari shorts and Hawaiian shirts. Your typical tourist in a resort that went to “paradise” but haven’t seen paradise.
How did that translate into clothing?
We find it very interesting how the locals that work for the resort dress to impress the tourists that are visiting their country. They try to dress according their standards but they make all kind of little mistakes, like wrong buttoned shirts or labels peeking from underneath their garments. We exaggerated these mistakes by making them even more obvious in an elegant way. We tried to capture the tourist feel by transforming a kaki safari shorts into a jacket and made blazers and trousers out of towel fabric.
What informs your usage of bright color in your designs?
It’s a translation of the energy of the people and the colorful family gatherings at your grandma’s house and the beach swims on Sunday with the whole family. For us, it makes sense to use bright colors in our collections because everything on our island has brighter color than everywhere else. The way the sun enlightens the hand painted walls and advertisements in my eyes is like a piece of art. For them, color is also a way of communicating with each other and that’s what it also is for us.
What cultures and heritages play a role in your clothing and why?
Both my Caribbean and Dutch roots play a role in my designs. Because I grew up in between two different cultures, I feel that I have a broader and more free look on life. Designing for me is like a diary. I get inspired by my own experiences and background. Our life is our inspiration and this is what moves us to design in a certain way. We like to play around with the more extravagant and idle Caribbean men and the more down-to-earth dutch mentality.
Can you speak more about your collaborations with Naomi Campbell, Young Thug, and Sampha?
I met Naomi Campbell during VFiles New York. I talked her through the collection and she was genuinely interested in the story behind it. We also met Young Thug during VFiles. He wanted to wear something from our collection so I showed him a few coats and he fell in love with the jacket he wore during the Runway 7 show. During the show, he stood up and “fixed” the collar on one of the models. At the moment, we didn’t understood the move, but then we heard that he did it to show his appreciation for the brand. Our friend and amazing stylist Ib Kamara was working with Sampha on his new album and he asked us to create a look for his video. The look eventually was used for the cover of the album.
PHOTOGRAPHS DAMIEN KRISL
FASHION JOANA DACHEVILLE
MAKEUP MAYIA ALLEAUME
GROOMING CYRIL LALOYE
MODEL MAX FIESCHI AT ELITE
CASTING DANTE FRONGILLO
SET DESIGN ELEONORA SUCCI
PRODUCTION HANNAH HUFFMAN
DIGITAL TECHNICIAN YOHAN BUREL
PHOTO ASSISTANT THOMAS CLODINE-FLORENT
FASHION ASSISTANT GLEN MBAN
MAKEUP ASSISTANT ELSA OLSON
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createdAt:Wed, 16 May 2018 19:26:01 +0000
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