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Mar 7, 2023
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Desigual and Maitrepierre present collaboration in Paris

Translated by
Mar 7, 2023

The Spanish brand touched down in Paris on Monday, March 7, to celebrate the launch of its second collaboration with French designer Alphonse Maitrepierre after a successful first Fall/Winter 2022 capsule collection. The brand founded by Thomas Meyer in 1984 organised a festive and colourful presentation for the occasion inside its newly opened store on the Parisian Rive Gauche. The 273-square-meter store, located at 64 Rue Bonaparte, opened in mid-December.

The collection was inspired by the solarpunk movement - Desigual x Maitrepierre

"I've fallen in love with Desigual. We share many values, such as a sustainable approach as well as believing in the importance of nature in design and creation. During this second part of our collaboration, I was able to dive into the brand's archives and humbly put myself in the shoes of its founder to retrace its history of creating garments from repurposed vintage denim. Desigual is, today, a great company, but my goal was to revisit its beginnings," said the designer who graduated from La Cambre in Brussels and was awarded the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris in 2021.

In returning to the cheerful Barcelona-based brand's origins, the French designer also drew inspiration from the first photograph of a black hole to develop psychedelic prints reminiscent of nebulae and fantastical galaxies. Maitrepierre merged these visual references with the optimist "solarpunk" movement and "jugaadr", a Hindi word that defines "artisanal repair" as a process for developing environmentally friendly products. Both the brand and the young designer agreed that sustainability had to be ingrained into the capsule collection. 

Designing fashion from 'what already exists'

"We have to construct fashion from what we already have at our disposal, just like Thomas Meyer once did. He especially wanted to experiment with fashion and its codes. I find it to be the only possible way to continue to create garments nowadays," claimed the designer, who founded his eponymous label in 2018 and is already a regular at Paris Fashion Week.

The limited-edition collection is based on "hybridization" and offers pink jeans made from two pairs of repurposed pants, a denim jacket transformed into a poncho, moccasins with sneaker soles and nightgown dresses worn over white T-shirts for everyday wear. As for its positioning, the capsule already on sale offers jeans starting at 99.95 euros and a leather bag for 249 euros, as well as a sustainable dress for 149 euros.

Denim plays a starring role in the collection - Desigual x Maitrepierre

"Despite its huge success, Desigual continues to function as a laboratory of creative ideas," said Alphonse Maitrepierre. "I allow myself to create more alternative or less commercial designs for my own brand. With Desigual, I've been able to learn from a big company's methods and do my bit on the crazier and more creative side," he explained about his experience working together with Desigual at its headquarters overlooking the La Barceloneta beach, describing it as a "win-win" situation and a commercial lesson that he can apply to his own brand.

For several seasons now, Desigual has been rebranding and has already collaborated with other renowned designers such as Colombian designer Esteban Cortázar and the legendary couturier Christian Lacroix, with whom Maitrepierre has established a recent friendship.

"Desigual has a strong brand identity and a very distinguished history. It seems to me that they are carrying out a very intelligent transition, without abandoning their origins or their loyal clientele, but combining it with avant-garde designs," said the creative, adding that "as a designer, it is much more inspiring and motivating to work with a brand that is adored or hated, rather than one that makes you feel indifferent."

Founded in Barcelona in 1984, Desigual closed the 2021 financial year with a 3.4% increase in turnover to 371 million euros. The brand currently has a retail network of 393 mono-brand stores and is present in 109 countries through 10 sales channels.

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