Thom Browne it’s kind of like one of those animals rare able to change skin: that is to say, in his case, to take a vaguely worn style like the American preppy and, with the irreverent approach that is his own, to build an imposing fashion house on it. As it happens, animals have played a central role in this path: starting with the now famous Hector, his wirehaired dachshund. Over the years, in fact, the flannel zoo for F / W 2014-15 has been seen in the men’s collections, as well as the extravagant sharks and parrots of the S / S 2017; for women, on the other hand, it is impossible to forget the embroidered penguins of F / W 2017-18 and the incredible unicorn Anais on the catwalk of the S / S 2018.

«Ah!», Browne smiles on Zoom: «In fact, I never really realized how much animals are present in my creations. But now that he makes me think about it, he is right: even on the strictly commercial front, the animal to be chosen as the icon of the collection is always the subject of a specific discussion with my design team ».

Thom Browne holding his dachshund Hector (@hectorbrowne) photographed in Chelsea, New York.

© AARON VASQUEZ.

With the co-ed A / W 2020-21 show, held in Paris just before the pandemic, Browne once again demonstrated this predilection, as well as a certain foresight. The models wore zoomorphic masks made by Stephen Jones and they walked in pairs, a reference to gender neutrality and, of course, to Noah’s Ark. In the following months, then, while the whole of humanity was looking for a refuge, here is Animal Icons, the collection of unisex bags in textured leather that encompasses the entire ecosystem, from frog to elephant. “We didn’t do it for commercial reasons,” explains Browne, “but to add a touch of humor, imagination and fun.” And he underlines how the first bag, Hector, «at first we thought it more like a joke. But then we sold more of this model than any other. Which, in some ways, is an example of how good design is born: from pure and authentic thought. This is where animals come in, there is purity in them, that’s why I love them. “

(Keep it going)

English text at this link.

Opening: the Rabbit bag from the Animal Icons series that includes lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, dogs.

Read the full interview in the January issue of Vogue Italia, on newsstands from 7 January

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