Over the past few years, in the wake of devastating back-to-back terror attacks in Paris, the city’s defiant young creatives have never been more determined, utilizing this looming sense of chaos to unite the city’s suburbs with the city and create a newfound classless fluidity in fashion.
Take Bastien Laurent and Laura Do, for example. They’re the duo behind Avoc, a soon-to-be cult French streetwear label, who scooped up the prestigious Creative Label Prize at the Andam Awards last month. Launched in 2014, Avoc takes its name from the word Havoc (also a nod to the Mobb Deep rapper), and is a visual fusion of the designers’ backgrounds. Do was born in Africa and moved to Paris at age 10; while Laurent grew up in the Parisian suburbs, or banlieues, in the town of Aulnay-sous-Bois.
“We’re a product of our environments, I guess,” says Laurent, who considers sports, hip hop videos, and Internet culture among his key influences. Meanwhile, Do draws inspiration from more traditional references like interior design, architecture, and the decorative arts.
By fusing Laurent’s Gen Z fluency with Do’s neoclassical aesthetic, Avoc is creating “inclusive fashion for a gender-neutral future,” and they’re transcending the realm of hype-driven streetwear. The vibe? Think: Minimal football jerseys, clean tailoring, structured-yet-casual outerwear, and luxury track pants that tap into the refined workwear look―and have unisex appeal.
“Inclusivity is important to us. It goes beyond social and gender codifications, to be honest,” says Laurent, who started the brand without any formal design training or mentors. “Growing up in the suburbs, I’d always been attracted to the opposite. Paris’ upper-class culture was my ultimate fantasy. I was wearing sportswear but I dreamt of Dior.”
This kind of class dynamic is still a fairly new concept in France. Now, storied fashion houses are trying to bring a touch of the banlieues to Paris by elevating bourgeoisie staples like tracksuits and fannypacks. “I can totally understand why people who have never experienced working class culture are getting excited by Lacoste tracksuits and Fila sweaters,” says Laurent, “Our lifestyle used to be rejected and now they’re using it to be cool. Some people might call that cultural appropriation, but I say it’s better than nothing. Like everything in culture, it will evolve and create something new.”
And while Paris may not be as well known as New York or London for nurturing emerging designers, the Avoc duo are proof of the exciting young talent coming out of the City of Light. “Paris is so strong right now. We’re moving from an exclusive Paris to an inclusive Paris,” says Laurent. “I know we’ve been through terrible events, but there is a very positive mood here right now, and sometimes chaos creates new energy.”
To shop the Avoc collection and learn more about the brand, visit avocparis.comEND
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/mens/a12020614/avoc-paris-emerging-designer-designer-profile/
createdAt:Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:13:57 +0000
displayType:Long Form Article