MEET THE MAKERS: ERIK RAYNAL
Erik, what did you want to be growing up?
As most of the children, I had different phases with different jobs in mind but I have always been attracted to any artistic field, it was most likely dance and music till the end of my teenage years. I was also reading a lot of magazines and was fascinated by celebrities and fashion icons - dressing up my girlfriends for instance. My mom was also a real source of inspiration in the way she was wearing simple clothes with a very nice style.
Where did you grow up anyway?
I grew up in Paris mostly with some short time frames in France, then I was a teenager I started traveling mostly in Europe - London, Italia, Spain.
You’re also working with Paige together on Ferrari Concept, what’s your part?
When I started at the brand first stage a year ago, it was purely being in charge of the general style of the brand. Then I got more and more involved in the general brand image and direction with regular meetings and a role of creative consultant. For next season however, I’m co-directing the collection and I’m still managing the general visual communication and creative content of the brand. It’s really exciting to work really closely to the design team and being able to translate ideas into a complete creative process - from the making of the collection to the producitions and the release. The collaboration has been really consistent, and fluid, there is a real trust that came naturally!
It’s impressive how the project evolved so quickly. It was considered very on trend by a few journalists - however I see the brand rather enduring. How important is timelessness for Ferrari Concept?
The initial idea of Ferrari Concept is to make timeless, modern clothes that you can always wear years after years with clean shapes and silhouettes, always somewhere in your wardrobe through different eras. For the next collection, we are still working on the idea of time consuming with a more modern, sportswear approach to it. There is still the notion of having relevant clothes no matter which period you are living in, it’s really the idea of making clothes for any past or up coming generation.
What’s your opinion of the big fashion houses, did the rising of alternate concepts make their mind less conservative? I mean Balenciaga has Demna now, someone noone would’ve seen as a proper fit a few years ago but who’s doing great.
I really think what's currently happening right now is really significant concerning new steps in fashion - or making progress of what has been done in the past - but also what's currently happening worldwide changes the system - politically with the general tensions/technologically with the rise of internet and way to communicate. Big fashion houses are a bit more aware of who’s buying clothes, who’s following the general process and attention they bring to nowadays. They know they have to adapt themselves to a new generation. I think everything starts progressively to evolve in all different fields, so it all makes sense that things are getting more modern and less static. Also, in the period of general tensions and social changes, it has always been seen that creatives are coming along with new ideas - or new interpretation of old ones. I find it really stimulating.
It’s moving quite fast indeed. But the particular aesthetic that you work in is often connected with excessive behaviour. Do you like the excess yourself?
Yes, I believe all works you create are always a reflection of something you feel inspired by or you’ve lived. Although, I’m always stimulated by my surroundings, different journeys and experience, I’m trying to stay as simple as possible. I don’t really like being too excessive to be honest, or maybe I don’t see the excess part the same as everyone! (laughs)
That explaines why we always meet for tea instead of drinks. Are you a romantic?
I wouldn’t say romantic but more sensitive with an attraction to beautiful things.
What scares you?
I don’t think I’m really scared about any specific things - although maybe exotic insects and war haha.
Where do you feel more comfortable, online or offline?
I think both actually! I’m really not against online expression and its role in communication, I think it’s a great tool to have in order to make things happen. But I feel it’s always easier to deal with things in reality.
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Interview & Portrait Stefan Dotter