PARIS–Marian Eeckhout’s studio resembles the clothes he designs: simple, perfectly cut, with an ethnic and hand sewn touch that gives each one of them a unique look. Aside from the patterned fabrics which he gathers when he can, the window ledges are filled with delightful mementos and objects: adopted stones and plants he collects from everywhere.
After spending some years in the studios of Dior Homme, Vanessa Bruno and Jitrois, he is now launching his own brand that will enable him to combine all his passions : men’s tailoring, working with recycled pieces of luxury clothing and following a sustainable fashion philosophy. Marian Eeckhout has just received a grant and the “Coup de Coeur” reward by the KPMG foundation, in partnership with the French Association pour le Droit a l’Initiative Economique, a micro-finance association who’s mission is (among other things) to support access to funds for small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs.
Marian Eeckhout’s career is atypical: he worked in the field of decoration and landscaping before ending up in fashion. He decided to train at the Association Formation Tailleur (Tailor Training Association), whilst simultaneously working for the costume department of a national opera, a theatre, a women’s ready-to-wear brand and with a furrier, where he learned a whole new set of skills to compliment his formal training.
As he continued to cultivate his craft at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, a school that has trained greats like André Courrèges, Alexis Mabille, Issey Miyake, and Yves Saint Laurent, Marian Eeckhout began working as an apprentice for luxury fashion houses.
“Working as a modelist helped me to understand all facets of building a collection: from the sketch, to the prototypes, fittings, shooting, fashion show, marketing. I knew that I was doing exactly what I liked,” he said.
All these experiences ultimately helped him refine his choices and led him to his own conclusion: “I wanted to propose an alternative fashion, independent, at a human scale.”
In his ambitious project, the recycling of fabrics is an integral facet of his collection.
“Working in different fields of fashion, I was struck by the important potential of recovering fabrics from maisons de couture and tailors. By working with smaller quantities of fabrics, I can propose unique clothing for each size and model. And that’s what people want, to be unique! I also offer to customize already worn clothes, with small pieces of fabrics, stitches, patchworks, all according to the client’s personality,” he explained.
His first collection possessed a strong streetwear edge. Inspired by Parisian transport, “true visual crossroads,” and his trips to Asia and Portugal, the array evoked designs by Martin Margiela, Christian Dior or Damir Doma. The young designer is hoping to settle in a showroom very soon and to seduce his clients with his beautifully cut and unique jackets made of exclusive textiles.
Shopping: “In Paris, I like concept stores like Colette or l’Eclaireur. I have a weakness for Uniqlo t-shirts and I love Bleu de Paname, a Made in France Parisian “workwear” brand.”
For a drink : “During the day, I like to stroll through the Marché des Enfants Rouges (39 rue de Bretagne 75003).
For a drink at night, I fancy Le Pick-Clops, in le Marais (16, rue Vieille du temple, 75004).”
For a party: “At my friend’s place or at Badaboum (2 bis rue des Taillandiers, 75011), Concrete (9 port de la rapée, 75012 Paris), the Wanderlust (32 quai d’Austerlitz, 75013) for its rooftop view of the Seine.”
ALSO IN THE PARIS ISSUE: Video Special: Romain Brau and Kevin Auger’s Bygone Beauties, Donia Allegue’s House of Turban’s, Ex Nihilo’s Personalized Perfumes, BACO Style: French Blogger Typhaine Augusto, Marian Eeeckhout: Recycling with Style