You’ll soon launch a collaboration with EASTPAK. How did the cooperation come about?
Initially, we wanted to launch a new concept named « Paul & Joe Voyageur » as traveling is very true to our brand. Moreover, it was the perfect occasion to create a useful and elegant line with Eastpak, which is also a brand so dear to my two sons.
What customer do you have in mind for the new collection?
I do not have a specific customer type. The young student, already Eastpak’s customer who wants to treat himself with one of the pieces of the collaboration, but also the businessmen, cool girls, or fashionistas. It's all about a state of mind. With this line, we will reach a more fashionable customer.
What was your inspiration and the biggest challenges when designing the line?
First of all, I selected the styles which were very relevant and true within the Eastpak collections; basically the most iconic. I did not want to modify or change the essence of those iconic bags. I also decided to use the most heritage Eastpak logo to make this collaboration more authentic.
Then, I designed 2 unique prints for this capsule collection, both inspired by a trip to Malaysia. I was amazed by beautiful butterflies and wild animals at the same time. Camouflage and butterflies are always in the Paul & Joe collections and part of our signature.
Do you have any other collaborations in the pipeline?
Like every season we do collaborations with Paul & Joe Sister and some characters. For the SS17 season, we created a capsule line collection with Warner Bros and Wonder Woman to celebrate Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary.
Your own brand Paul & Joe celebrated its 20th-anniversary last year. Tell us about your design process. How is it like? What inspires you?
I like the fantasy, and joie de vivre, wearable clothes with a strong personality. There is always the notion of sensitivity and emotion that is very important to me, the loyalty of some clients who have made me evolve.
We started with very small collections and now we have full lifestyle collections, it is an extraordinary adventure. We create eyewear, makeup, lingerie and now this collaboration with Eastpak. All these new opportunities allow me to discover new horizons which I would not have done myself as it’s not my core business. All these renowned houses help me with their own expertise and accompany to understand new markets and categories.
What are the future plans in terms of expansion?
Paul & Joe has been expanding extensively all over Asia over the last years, China being the number 1 market nowadays. North America is now the number 1 priority.
Menswear is an evolving field, especially in the last seasons it saw big changes. Where do you see this development going to? What are the main influences?
As you know I’ve started Paul & Joe with menswear first, 20 years ago. At this time my designs were very different from the actual men trends of the 90’s. Nowadays, not only men are less daring when it comes to eccentric pieces. This is why I always create timeless pieces with a very special and playful twist. This is my signature. Men are dressed with favorites for 10 years, they are more careful. At the same time, they are more body conscious and are aware of the way they look.
Which materials do you like to work with and why?
Natural materials such as cotton, silk, viscose, or cashmere. Comfort is key for me. I’m looking for easy to wear materials and easy care. I am very strict on quality.
How important is denim for your collections? And what do you like about it?
Denim is an essential of any wardrobe today. Men and women wear jeans. In any collection, denim gives a city, relaxed, and cool attitude. Heritage jeans such as the 501 are back. It is a fundamental piece of the wardrobe of today and tomorrow.