INTERVIEW éclectic x NellyRodi
In the middle of Paris Fashion Week we were able to meet Franck Malègue, creator of the éclectic concept. More than a label, éclectic is a veritable philosophy, running against the tide of fashion diktats.
Read on to learn more about our latest favorite find.
NellyRodi : How did the éclectic adventure begin?
Franck – éclectic :
The beginning of the éclectic adventure corresponded with the opening of our boutique in rue Charlot a little over a year ago, after having spent more than two years developing the concept and the prototypes. It all ensued from the product – the jacket and its “re-engineering”. Re-thinking the men’s jacket is the basis of this project as for me it is really the most important, essential element of the men’s wardrobe.
NellyRodi : What is the particularity of the eclectic jacket? What makes it different?
Franck – éclectic : A tremendous amount of the materials used in éclectic jackets are actually those designed for extreme sports. The whole idea is to marry the tradition of the classic tailor – Italian sartorial fabrication – with innovation. The materials are used in such a way as to lend the jacket completely new functionality. Today the idea is to put this functionality back into the heart of the jacket’s creation.
NellyRodi : Do you recognize yourself among the new generation of more low-profile fashion designers?
Franck – éclectic :
There have been two major stages in the development of men’s fashion. In the 1980s-90s men’s fashion brands began to be developed along the same lines as women’s fashion – styling taking priority over the function of the garment. Then only just recently, we have seen the renewal of the traditional garment, no longer simply connected with fashion, but with know-how.
I want to bring something new to the functionality of the jacket – in its cut and structure, but particularly by using innovative materials, those designed for the “outdoor” market.
NellyRodi : With « eclecticPortraits » you’ve added a string to your bow, what is the approach behind this project?
Franck – éclectic :
The approach came about by accident. For the opening of the boutique in May 2011, I wanted to present the same jacket worn by different people. It wasn’t really a stylistic approach, the idea is to propose clothes that each and everyone can appropriate in their own way, in their own style. A jacket can be worn by five people of very different ages and body shapes, and convey something different every time. The idea was to set up an ephemeral photo studio for the evening, and to photograph guests and friends in the jackets. Everyone really got into it, to such a point that Nils Herrmann, the photographer decided to set up his studio in the boutique’s basement. Since then we’ve organized regular events in Paris and Saint Tropez (Hermitage Hotel).
Over the last year we have photographed more than 200 people during these events! And for the brand’s first anniversary we wanted to celebrate these portraits by organizing an exhibition around this great artistic collaboration.
NellyRodi : Would you consider turning éclectic into a “label” in the manner of Kitsuné or Surface to Air ?
Franck – éclectic:
Firstly we have plans for “eclecticPortraits”, starting in fall with a new series of photos to be taken in Paris then Brussels and London. What interests me is to turn éclectic into a creative platform whose values will bring like-minded people from different creative fields together. I don’t consider eclectic as a “hard line” fashion label and I don’t want to cramp it’s style in a purely fashion sense.
After Paris, éclectic is available in Japan – Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka – a country that has always inspired Franck Malègue… Stay tuned!
“If there is a truly eclectic street it’s the Japanese street. Japanese culture surprises and inspires me. It is a culture that has always succeeded in mixing tradition and innovation, rather than opposing them.”
8 rue charlot – 75003 paris