In Conversation with Alexandro Fratelli - Spring/Summer 2021
Definition of Street Couture: "The street meets the elite and the elite fall in love with the street..."
Origin: "Made in France"; inspired by Italian fashion
Synonym: Alexandro Fratelli
There is Street Style and then there is the elevated medium of Street Couture. Pioneered by French fashion house Alexandro Fratelli, this revision of couture aims to blur the longstanding barriers of classism and exclusivity in relation to fashioning the masses.
In an exclusive interview with IRK Magazine, the designers of Alexandro Fratelli discuss the unveiling of the Spring/Summer 2021 collection - the last collection that the brand will produce in correlation with the traditional fashion schedule.
IRK: How did you decide to partner with one another? Did you have separate creative backgrounds or expertise prior to your work together in fashion?
Alexandro Fratelli: Having always shared a brotherly bond, we shared the same interests and became partners very early. The goal was to break the stereotype of boys from working-class backgrounds by making our own creations.
Alexandro has always had this creative spirit in himself. When I was 7, I had an accident and was hospitalized. He visited me and gave me one of his drawings. He used to draw very well and was talented. This moment marked our relationship and strengthened our friendship.
IRK: The brand came to fruition in 2016. Around the same time, athleisure became a fad that soon translated and transformed into the global phenomenon of Street Style. Alexandro Fratelli specializes in Street Couture, a style medium before its time; something that is vital to the progression of a once emerging, fashion brand. Was there a moment that you recognized a point-of-entry in the market for the medium of Street Couture?
Alexandro Fratelli: << Street Couture >> has been needed to be introduced in the fashion industry, mainly to marry social disparities, and blur prejudices by creating original models from the << street >>.
By the way, Street-Couture wants to pierce these bubbles fatally attributed to people by mixing two opposing styles to form one. Through << street couture >>, fashion would sublimate the man and not reflect where he comes from socially.
Then, the character of a person who wears our clothes is one who does not allow himself to be influenced by the codes of the social environment where he comes from.
IRK: What is your definition of Street Couture?
Alexandro Fratelli: Street Couture is defined by high-end pieces mixed between streetwear and haute couture, but whose essence remains urban. It means revisiting urban pieces by making them more noble.
This is the same for the pieces more chic that we need to make it more casual. Among them, the shirt or jogging:
Shirt, revised in more "sport/casual" by replacing the classic collar by the Mao collar
Jogging, reworked more classy and elegant thanks to high-end fabrics, velvet adorned with silver pins, becomes more chic and still remains comfortable.
Our vision of Street-Couture also refers to Italian fashion vibes with more notable fabrics such as velvet. Velvet is worked in all its kind at Alexandro Fratelli's. We are used to mixing styles in instinctive and very natural ways.
IRK: How does the creative process and overall product development of the Spring/Summer 2021 collection differ from previous collections?
Alexandro Fratelli: Our SS21 collection was our last one that traditionally followed the fashion schedule. So we put all out heart into it. In order to cement our values, we have chosen to highlight the safety pin in the form of a monogram print symboling of solidarity and fraternal bonds.
It was the last because we decided to change our production by opting for slow-fashion and up-cycling. By publishing only one collection per year, and partially often a series of original pieces, our way of consuming fashion will favor better quality, eco-designed and durable clothing.
IRK: Inclusion, community, and friendship are themes throughout the brand identity with garments designed around the ideals of gender inclusion and sustainability. Although these values are recently trending within the fashion industry, this identity of inclusion and sustainability has remained at the foundation of Alexandro Fratelli since the brand's inception. What is the significance of these themes in your own personal lives and in the brand narrative?
Alexandro Fratelli: "#YouAreFratelli" is more than a slogan, it means a state of mind. Fraternity, solidarity, humility and self-acceptance are our brand values. These create the "Fratelli" community. Anyone who shares these values is included in.
The pin metaphor shows our values as well as our sympathy and altruism in everyday life.
IRK: Can you tell us more about how you decided on the safety pin to mark your signature in the fashion world?
Alexandro Fratelli: At Alexandro Fratelli, the safety pin makes all the difference! This is our signature. She polishes each piece of our collection. This is our hit jewel! Much more than a detail, it symbolizes solidarity. Once it has been sealed, it is impossible to detach it.
IRK: When dressed in Alexandro Fratelli SS21, what do you customers to feel? Or to know?
Alexandro Fratelli: By making our collection, we wanted to strengthen our brand identity. The monogrammed safety pin for this campaign makes that every customer who wears Alexandro Fratelli SS21 would help carry our message of hope to the masses through the abundance of the pin, this time not grafted but soaked!
Furthermore, we wanted our customers to feel authentic and avant-gardist in a time where the monogram pin was never seen before.
IRK: Is there a moment that you are most proud of throughout the history of Alexandro Fratelli?
Alexandro Fratelli: We come from a place where violence is used to reigning due to rivalry between different neighborhoods. By our brand and for instance our values: fraternity and solidarity. We have succeeded in calming some disagreements and establishing peace for some. In addition to having succeeded in establishing this cohesion, some have joined and agreed with our brand.
IRK: How have you managed to stay inspired during quarantine?
Alexandro Fratelli: The use of social media increased by the lockdown allowed us to focus more on our communication. We were impressed by the recent police violences linked to racism. For us, the challenge was to educate as many people as possible. We have supported our community strongly during the death of George Floyd.