A new label out of Paris, yet much more, EACH OTHER is the latest to blur the line between art and fashion, men's and women's, street and luxury. It may sound like a tricky premise to have artists produce fashion, but consider the beautiful mash-up that occurred at the fall 2012 presentation. Out of nowhere, graffiti artist Alec Monopoly brandished a can of spray paint and began tagging a white leather jacket worn by another artist. And just like that a new style was added to the line, hand-produced in his L.A. studio and destined to sit on racks alongside the rest of the collection. We sat down with Ottavia Palomba—no title, naturally—in EACH OTHER's gallery-like space in Paris to learn more about the strange new hybrid...
In brief, what is EACH OTHER?
Founded by Jenny Mannerheim, Philippe Combres and Ilan Delouis, EACH OTHER embodies the union of three core ideas: art meets fashion, common identity, and rough luxury. We embrace a community spirit, with all its connotations: collective projects, collaborative practices, open-minded, trans-disciplinary, mixing gender styles.
I can see an artisanal quality. Are the garments hand-finished?
Not everything is hand-finished, but the treatments are carefully developed with specialist craftsmen. This cashmere sweater, for instance, is over-washed to reproduce the aging process of the garment. And some of the leathers are hand-painted, so that each piece is unique. In this way the essential unisex wardrobe sits alongside the artists’ pieces, and has an enduring timeless quality.
It looks like the EACH OTHER branding is very minimal.
The only thing we have is a leather embossed label on the jeans, and some other pieces have our logo, a small X. This is not just part of the logo, but symbolizes the exchange between artists, and the exchange between a man and woman. We thought about the girl who goes into the man's wardrobe...
And hopefully the man who goes into his girlfriend’s wardrobe too.
Yes! It has actually taken this direction more in the next collection, for resort and for next summer.
Who are the artists you're collaborating with?
For fall we worked with Robert Montgomery, Thomas Lélu, Peter Eaton Gurnz, Jason Gringler, Asa Mader, Ari Marcopoulos, Alizé Meurisse, and Alec Monopoly. We are very happy with the response, and have found there are a lot of people that want to buy into an artist's work, but can't afford it. So in a way, they can.
Some of the artists are street-inspired. Do this define the look of the collection, or vice versa?
It's important for us to look at the zeitgeist to see what are people wearing now. If you work with an artist just because you like the work, it could be an all-over bright pink print, and it will be disconnected from our way of looking at people on the street. We asked ourselves the question, "What are we all wearing today?" And we came up with the biker jacket, the trench coat, jeans, shirt, etc. Not all the artists are directly related to the street either. For instance, Thomas Lélu works with spray paint, but shows his work in galleries. And Robert Montgomery loves to show his work on the street, but the aesthetic is more concerned with the subversion of advertising messages. This works the same way with the clothes. One minute you have a pair of jeans, which becomes a pair of limited-edition jeans, and then an art edition of 1000. Or, one moment it’s a scarf, and you take it home and frame it on your wall and it becomes a limited artist’s edition.
What can we look forward to from EACH OTHER?
With the fall collection, we worked with the ideas of fire, ash and stone. That is why the look is very black and white, and the artists we approached work within these tones. For next summer we're working with other artists more related to color, and the feelings we have for summer. For instance, we are working with an artist who uses stripes, because for spring 2013 we really wanted to do stripes. It comes back to the spirit of EACH OTHER, a community spirit.
EACH OTHER is available now at Colette, and will be available from September in Barneys (New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo), les Galeries Lafayette in Paris, VK2 Designers in Istanbul, Fred Segal in L.A., and Jades in Frankfurt.