THE GEN X
Dr. Collectors, FW 2020 collection.
© Photo courtesy of Press Office.
Just as counting the rings in a tree trunk will reveal its vintage, observing the layers of reference and technique in the clothing of Los Angeles-based Dr. Collectors indicates the length and breadth of the human experience that has led to their creation. US militaria, traditional Japanese attire, French workwear, hand-loomed denim, and hand-applied indigo, tie-dye and garment dye are all ingredients that suffuse these meticulously casual and powerfully Californian (much more Marin than Malibu) pieces. That (French) man is Olivier Grasset, 65, who alongside his wife Beatrice and son Teddy created Dr. Collectors as the sum culmination of his life’s odyssey in clothing. As Grasset growls down the phone during his morning drive, this journey began as a teenage jeans fiend in his Provence hometown of Orange, where he began to collect vintage. Contacts with a distributor in Marseille who was sitting on a trove of then under-valued deadstock selvedge Levi’s allowed him to open a store, named Edouard. After three years he was approached to work for a pioneering designer denim brand (alongside Fiorucci) named Liberto, whose chief innovation was stone-washing. Then, in 1986, he began a 13-year stint as designer for the prime ’90s-kid grail brand for French-accented denimwear infused with early hip-hop influence that is Chipie.
A shot from Alled-Martinez’s FW 2020 collection.
© Photos @ignazolozano.
Gently remind Barcelona-born, London-taught and Paris-based Archie M. Alled-Martinez that he is a millennial, and he scoffs. “Has! I supposed I know. But I feel really … old! ” Old? This young designer patently isn’t, although it’s fair to say that since graduating from Central Saint Martins three years ago he’s experienced as much as others would count themselves lucky to in a decade.
“Yes, it was a bit odd. A bit strange. The whole thing was quite surreal, and it all happened very fast. ” What happened was that Alled-Martinez’s degree-honed signature knitwear earned him the LVMH Prize for Graduates in 2018, by which time he was already – in part thanks to mentorship from Sarah Mower – in touch with several Parisian houses. The perfect fit seemed Clare Waight Keller‘s emerging team at Givenchy, which he joined for a year. This full immersion in a corporate luxury house led to his meeting Italian suppliers, including one knitwear specialist “which is really big, and works with lots of the most famous houses, but which also has a smaller factory and is interested in development. They were interested in my work, and that’s how it all started. ” That was way back when in 2019. His first collection gained traction – and a spot on Vogue Talents – thanks to pieces through which he says: “I’m expressing a flamboyance – a decadent, dandyesque vibe. But when you put them on, you find they are very easy to wear, and they work just as well on a woman. “
THE GEN Z
Zinko, SS 2021 collection.
© Photo courtesy of press office.
Jason Wu sewed his first dress (for a doll) when he was ten. So why shouldn’t Ivan Zinko launch his first capsule collection aged nine? Whether Zinko develops into as lauded a designer as his fellow early bloomer remains to be seen – he is still only 13. However he has had a head start: the label Zinko co-designs with his mother Natasha has 140 stockists and showed in London before moving across to the Paris menswear schedule. Last month Ivan’s label DUOltd’s first stand-alone retail space – a shop-in-shop at Harrods – opened in London.
“It all started with my mother,” said Ivan down an after-school Zoom. “We used to go to fashion weeks, and when I was nine I started to go with her to the workshop where she makes her clothes.” This was also when Ivan sparked a minor street style sensation thanks to the looks in which he was photographed attending fashion shows. His Instagram, then handled @goldenfly, recently rechristened @soberivan, attracted 90,000 followers. “That was a surface-level thing,” shrugged Ivan of his days as a pre-teen influencer. “Now I’m interested in learning the art of fashion, not going to fashion week.”