Late last week, French luxury designer Alexandre Vauthier swept into Toronto for a whirlwind trip. In town for two and a half days, the couturier was here to host a trunk show with Hudson’s Bay and to meet some of his Canadian clients. Sitting down with him in the presentation space, Vauthier’s passion for his customer and what they need was immediately evident. “You must travel to the markets to see the differences between the consumers. It’s important to see the woman live in her life to understand what she wants,” he tells us.
It’s his first time in Canada, though it’s been on his must-visit list for a while. Not least thanks to Celine Dion. “I was always curious about the Canadian life. One of my icons is from here – Celine Dion. That’s how I kept hearing about Canada. She always said to me, ‘You must see this country, it is so fabulous.’ So I’m super happy to see the town, the lifestyle, the food, the people. I’m excited to have an exchange with the people to understand how they live and what they do.”
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Learning under some of Paris’s best seamstresses and designers (he worked for Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier when starting out), Vauthier says his fashion education helped shape his namesake label. “I learned a lot about technicity,” he says, “which is perhaps why my vision of clothes is, not different, but precise. I take care of all kinds of bodies, not only one.” For the designer, it’s less about a specific woman, and more about an attitude or a lifestyle. “When you do a show, the prototypes are between a 36 and a 38 but real life is not the same. You need to dress women, and [real women] are not models. [For me] it’s always about the question of ‘What is the allure?’ It’s not a fashion approach, it’s a style approach.”
His vast list of celebrity and political clientele shows how much he values the female form. “This interest in my clothes proves, which I take as validation, that I take care of all women. It’s really the woman before, and me after. My job is to not only make them beautiful but to bring harmony and the right balance between their appearance and their mind.”
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TUXEDO and Noeud-pap.
With all the talk on sustainability of late, Vauthier says his focus has always been on creating elegant, timeless pieces. “When you buy a piece from my collection, whether you bought it in 2016, you can still wear it today with new clothes. I think it’s super important to have this trans-seasonality between the collections. I think it’s important to have a mix [of new season and old]. I don’t want to do seasonal fashion, or seasonal product. For me, I prefer to have a woman buy my clothes [with the intention] of keeping it for a long time.”
Luxury also allows for a closer connection with the brand and clothing than fast fashion, he says. “When I want to buy something, I want to dream. It’s super important to try something that will give you the energy to be a part of it, to have exclusivity and a special relationship with the product, a complicity. Luxury allows you to be a part of a universe you love.”
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