Marie-Thérèse (Marithé) Bachellerie and François Girbaud are the reason you have at least one pair of jeans in your wardrobe – that is if they aren’t on your legs at this very moment. Pioneers of denim – ‘orijeanators’ if you will – Marithé and François Girbaud set about as early as 1968 to create jeans ‘not like the Americans’. And now, four decades later, the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in St Étienne, France, has detailed their impressive career to date in ‘L’Autre Jean’ (The Other Jean) which coincides with book ‘Marithé+François Girbaud: From Stone to Light’ (Editions de la Martinière) and an exhibit at the Biennale Internationale Design 2013.
Meeting in 1967, the fashion world is fortunate this pair delved into it at all, Marithé with high hopes of Hollywood, while François had the boyish dream of becoming a rockstar and indeed a cowboy – which incidentally brought about his lust for denim. Back then, the only jeans available were from the big American names, and had specific reasons for wear – Levi’s for miners, Wrangler for rodeos and Lee for cotton-pickers. But Marithé and François had strong ideas of what jeans could become, introducing the ‘pre-worn’ effect through multiple trips to the laundrette, and innovating stonewashed denim by the mid Seventies.
In challenging the typical vision of denim, Marithé+François Girbaud have accomplished many ‘firsts’ – creating baggy jeans (in turn earning them kudos with the US hip-hop scene), introducing images to catwalk shows and producing short films to illustrate their collections, to name but a few.
As such a forward-thinking brand, you may be a little puzzled as to why a retrospective – which François blames on Communication Manager Muriel de Lamarzelle, but that is not to say he is not pleased about the situation. “To be in the capital of French industry, in St Étienne, in that museum [Musée d’Art et d’Industrie] I am very, very proud.”
The Eighties and Nineties are hailed as the ‘height’ of Marithé+François Girbaud’s career – no doubt due to their huge African-American following courtesy of brand spokesperson Jessica Beals of ‘Flashdance’ fame, and their now infamous ‘X-Pocket’ and ‘African Cut’ jeans. During this time they further collaborated with New Wave film director Jean-Luc Godard, to produce their only television advertising; trialled techno-fusion, laser-blading and ultrasound, and developed ‘B.E. Blue Eternal’ – the indigo denim that does not fade.
That said, the ecologically sound work which Marithé+François Girbaud began in the late Eighties is reaching all-new heights within the industrial denim world today. Content in their avant-garde, but superficial explorations with jeans, the couple now work beneath the surface of this iconic indigo fabric.
Many processes involved in distressing denim (some of which Marithé and François pioneered) are terribly damaging to the environment, not least for the huge wastage of water (‘blue gold’) incurred by each action. “It took a long time to be conscious, but now we know” explains François, and have subsequently sought to right this wrong through their revolutionary use of air and light.
“I realised chemical reactions are not something bad, if you control them,” says François. Minimising water usage by 70%, their atmospheric treatment which combines oxygen and ozone sees denim soften and develop a patina congruent to a well-worn pair of jeans.
But this isn’t where these sartorial scientists call off their endeavours, after much experimentation with the use of lasers, Marithé and François discovered light could be used not only to cut fabrics, but to ‘engrave’ them too. “We started to imagine the possibility with the evolution of software that you can pick at the fabric to customise your jean, but it was a dream at the time.” Roll forward to 2009 and Marithé+François Girbaud introduce their WattWashTM technology – a machine which uses lasers to engrave patterns into denim. Its name deriving from the measurement of light, WattWashTM uses only 5 litres of water, 97.5% less than the shocking 120 litres required to treat a single pair of jeans. Not only does this method leave consciences clear, but opens the doors to denim design, its use of computerised software leaving pattern possibilities infinite.
Preaching the word of guilt-free denim, Marithé and François Girbaud attend trade shows and symposiums to promote their ‘clean’ methods in jean manufacture. Currently residing at the Biennale Internationale Design 2013 in St Étienne, one of their WattWashTM machines allows visitors to laser-etch their very own jeans with one of three designs from students at Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Design de Saint-Étienne.
Be it through sartorial or scientific methods, creators of the ‘other’ jean, Marithé and François Girbaud constantly challenge the way we view fashion today. Single-handedly establishing the staple garment of the 20th Century, jeans would not be jeans without them, and the future looks brighter still. As François says himself, “We went from stone and water, to air and light, it’s incredible.” Quite.
‘L’Autre Jean’ exhibition at the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in St Étienne runs until May 6th 2013
Find their WattWashTM machine at the Biennale Internationale Design 2013 Saint-Étienne until 31st March 2013
For more information visit http://www.lautrejean.blogspot.fr
Words / Roxanne Golding
Follow her on Twitter @RoxanneGolding
“You no longer judge a picture for the picture – you judge it on how well it has been photoshopped. Photographers shouldn’t be called photographers; they should be called image makers,” Mathias Augustyniak memorably said, talking to writer Glenn O’Brien at MoMA PS1’s Sunday session. He’s half of the graphic design duo M/M Paris.
Augustyniak and partner Michael Amzalag created a name for themselves by collaborating with the likes of Kanye West, Madonna, Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Stella McCartney. They have also art directed French Vogue, Interview and their own magazine, Man About Town, and have built a reputation as true graphic design pioneers. Now they have released a monograph of their 20-plus years in graphic design hybridizing art, fashion and music.
They met in the late 80s when both of them attended École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. “Pousse-toi monochrome,” was the first thing Augustyniak said to Amzalag after overhearing Amzalag bragging about being dressed head-to-toe in blue. “I had blue moccasins, blue socks, blue pants, a blue shirt, a blue jacket and a blue cap on,” he says, his partner nodding in recognition.
Their first job together was designing a letter-heading for a friend in Paris. They admit they had no idea what they were doing. “We set up a kind of fantasy studio in my room; we had a desk, an unplugged phone, a couple of pens and we said ’OK this is going to be our office,’” Amzalag recalls with a grin.
Both agree that they were lucky to start in the pre-internet era. “We had time to develop our core skills, because we didn’t have to create and upload things every day,” Amzalag says. “Back then we didn’t even have to show a reference picture; we just explained our idea and did it.”
Even though they don’t necessarily agree on the way the industry has evolved post-internet, they do love the advantages of this millennium’s helpful technologies. “I can’t draw,” Amzalag says, while his partner is heavily pre-occupied sketching on his napkin. “I can correct and perfect a drawing, but I can’t make one,” he says, expressing his love for Photoshop and InDesign.
The book has taken on an unusual format offering two covers – back and front – featuring a silhouette portrait of each of them and starting from the middle with the list of content. Even though this is to be expected from such enfants terribles of graphic design, they laugh at the fact that they didn’t design the book themselves. “The designers wanted to portray a ’country’ built between two partners. The book is an atlas of our work,” Augustyniak says.
The book, M to M of M/M Paris, is published by Thames and Hudson and is available online and in shops worldwide.
Words / Lars Byrresen Petersen
Follow him on Twitter @LarsLaLa
The dazzling fashion editorial, ‘Soap Opera’, by the creative photography duo Kristofj and Sean, is inspired by popular soap operas from the 80s. Styled by Grace Joel, the models in this retro photo shoot look ideally suited for the glamorous soap opera theme. Isabella and Roos are clad in vintage dresses by Yves Saint Laurent, Beyond Retro, and Issey Miyake and beautifully accessorised with sparkling oversized jewellery by Fenton and Atelier Mayer. The seductive and seemingly confident Drew and the equally impressive Liam are dressed to the nines in tailored pinstripe suits and bow ties by Gieves & Hawkes, Ralph Lauren and Dunhill.
Photographers / Kristofj and Sean
Styling / Grace Joel
Styling Assistant / Emma Clarke
Set Designer / Stephanie Kevers
Make Up / Namiko Takemiya using M.A.C. Pro
Make Up Assistant / Yuko Murakami
Hair / Michiko Yoshida
Hair Assistant / Yeri Seok
Photo Assistant / Colette Calli
Isabella @ Storm
Roos @ Models1
Drew @ D1
Liam @ Storm
Retouch / Artmedia Partners
Sunbeams of talent radiate from the pages of Issue 12 of Schön! Magazine, warming our faces with the glow of never-ending discoveries of creative genius. Model Sebastian Sauve once again graces our pages, this time alongside Leebo Freeman in the provocative cover story “Miami Bitch,” shot by Dimitris Theocharis. And the vibrancy of summer, both sun and shade, is captured in the editorial “Haughty Shades,” shot by Thanassis Krikis and edited by Nicholas Georgiou.
Walk with us down the garden path of design as we share enthralling conversations with Kim Jones, a master of menswear and one of fashion’s most influential people, interviewed by Andre Da Silva, and Dan and Dean Caten, the daring men behind the irresistibly sexy and glamorous brand DSquared2, interviewed by our very own João Paulo Nunes. We are also proud to introduce model Rob Evans, featured in Omar Macchiavelli’s “Flow,” and Laurent Dombrowicz, a visionary fashion editor who worked on our editorial “Amsterdam, Pennsylvania,” photographed by Anne Combaz.
Spanish actress Rossy de Palma’s vivacious personality shines impossibly bright in her interview and accompanying editorial shot by Álvaro Villarrubia, while fellow Spanish rose, artist Lita Cabellut, reminds us that perseverance can overcome pain to create beauty. Tim Flach captures the magic of childhood summers spent at the zoo in “Mammals,” enchanting us all in his interview with Hannah Newman. And the story of Elina Garanca, a woman who is enrapturing the world as one of opera’s brightest stars, and was exclusively interviewed for Schön! by Grace Urban, inspires us.
And so we invite you to dig deep into your heart, to find the greatest treasures of life, and rejoice in the beauty of summer! It is our true joy to capture it for you within our pages.
We’ve made our way to the ends of the earth and back again, pillaging and plundering and conquering all to bring you a treasure chest bursting with sparkling talent: from the boldly androgynous to the colorfully whimsical … with just a sprinkling of royalty.Our eleventh issue has been devoted to all that sparkles—and we aren’t just talking about jewels.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrating her Diamond Jubilee next year, and we are delighted to present an exclusive preview of the National Portrait Gallery’s touring exhibition of her portraits planned to commemorate it. We are honoured to publish Chris Levine’s image of the most photographed woman in the world on the cover of Schön! 11.
Our fashion alternative to The Queen is the rising stars of the modelling world: we are proud to present an elite league of up and coming, not to mention extremely successful, male models in Issue 11: the gorgeous Willy Cartier and Stephen Thompson, who have campaigned for Givenchy, and Sebastian Sauvé, who was featured in the latest Zara campaign and shot by Dimitris Theocharis for Schön! 11, have enough talent to impress even The Queen.
Continuing in our royal theme, Saskia Reis interviews a queen of the stage: prima ballerina of the Staatsballett in Berlin, Polina Semionova. And Thanassis Krikis presents “Home Alone,” an enchanting editorial spread with an air of melancholy nobility about it.
Back to art, we’ve discovered some hidden gems for you in Elena Bombardelli and Stephan Balleux: two painters from two different countries, both with an extraordinary gift.
I won’t spoil the fun by telling you all the secrets of what talent we have enfolded within our pages … but I will say you don’t want to miss Stefan Milev’s Little Red Riding Hood-inspired shoot, just in time for the upcoming film, Rocio Frausto’s interview with Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Visual Effects frontrunner Alex Frisch, nor actress Lisa Edelstein’s candid conversation with Andre Da Silva about winning her first award and the price of fame.
Like the rarest diamond, Issue 11 of Schön! Magazine has been perfectly formed to bring you the best and brightest talent the world has to offer. We’ve filled our pages with the crown jewels of the creative world just for you, our loyal readers—only the best for the best.
We’ve squeezed out the pips of 2010 for this 10th edition of Schön! Magazine, to bring you a fresh and juicy array of glistening talent. You’ll notice that we’ve dived into our dressing-up box to bring you an exclusive preview of the new shapes and silhouettes from the Spring fashion calendar. Inspired by our cover and accompanying shoot by Jannis Tsipoulanis ‘Mrs Indiana Jones’, Schön!’s dedicated team have picked up their bows and arrows to fire on target for the coming seasons ahead.Who better to appear in the first 2011 edition of Schön! than ……… the fearless Roisin Murphy? She lounges in luxury in Fulvio Maiani’s editorial. Recognised for her alternative take on stage outfits and a lifelong attachment to costume, she heralds this issue’s playful affair with clothes.
Let us cure your January blues with a first glimpse of Spring to lighten up these dim Winter days. Andrej Skok’s visionary styling in ‘The New Kids on the Block’ will get you warmed up. Inject colour into the dark with the extreme futurist layering in our ‘Escapism’ feature photographed by regular contributor Jannis Tsipoulanis’. And a first look at Spanish designer Amaya Arzuaga’s fantastic statement clothing will have you desiring a taste of them before the season is ripe.
This tenth issue profiles strong personalities in fashion who have been altering perceptions of the industry through their work. Including the woman behind international label H&M, Margareta Van Den Bosch, interviewed by our own Joao Paulo Nunes. Her pioneering collaborations have transformed the industry’s relationship with the high street. And as a regular contributor to Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio, fashion and celebrity manicurist Marian Newman’s career has carved the way for nail art to be appreciated alongside the regular hair and make-up mavens. Then there’s the couple behind new London-based design house with global aspirations, ‘Bunmi Koko’, who are pushing boundaries to provide a more diverse and richer fashion community, interviewed exclusively for Schön!
Continuing on our hunt for global talent, we’ve collected a passport’s worth of talent from the new face of half French, half Norwegian model Nils Butler to established Croatian artist Dimitrije Popovic. Read about Canadian ceramist France Goneau’s ‘Japon’ series and look to the East in Kyrre Wangen’s ‘Asiana’ shoot. Meanwhile blogger The Pessimiss takes a look at the health of South African fashion in ‘The Lay of the Land’ – where the outlook for this growing fashion destination sounds promising. Whilst traditionally the New Year is a time for others to reflect on the past, let Schön! whisk you into the months ahead looking forward to the new shapes, names and talent under the spotlight that you’ll need to know.
This time Schön! Magazine has been given over to all that is dark, different, and above all extraordinary, combining the supermodel status of our cover star Tony Ward with news of fresh talent.
With an exclusive preview of next season’s spring/summer menswear from Lanvin and Alexander McQueen, shot by Jannis Tsipoulanis before you see them anywhere else, it’s our most fashion-forward edition yet. The Parisian label JITROIS has recognised the rising brilliance of Schön! and chosen us for their first editorial outside of the major global magazines, featuring their signature stretched leather.We’ve ventured into the deepest night through a series of dusky editorials, from the LaRoache Brothers’ shadow-like models, barely illuminated by their halos of piled-high hair, to the statuesque onyx of ‘Carbon’ by Pierre Dal Corso. Mysterious shapes in the night continue to intrigue in Stefan Milev’s lingerie story and Matthew Lyn’s gritty street-side fashion photography from the heart of New York. The tension reaches fever pitch in a ghostly, flame-lit collection of images from You Bin, refracted by chilling light and highlighted in a wash of acid blue, aptly entitled ‘Exorcism.’
The mood lifts slightly courtesy of Rocio Frausto’s interview with choreographer and director Shelly Love and the exotic, foreign beauty of a modern day geisha captured by Stefan Giftthaler. In our search for the next wave of global talent, we’ve been talking to innovative furniture designer Yah?a Ouled-Moussa and the two halves behind fashion force Mastori*Motwary as well as delving into new photography art book, The Dualism. Sensational painter Liu Fei has given us an exclusive preview of his work while Yvonne Renard asks “Can you say ‘Dior,’ baby?” in her regular opinion column, exercising her sharp wit and sartorial irony.
Breathing heat into an otherwise eerie edition of Schön! Magazine is the seductive beauty of lace-clad limbs on cool stone in our seductive ‘Marble’ editorial and Rayan Ayash’s autumnal fashion story. We’ve cherry picked and interviewed four of the best young European menswear designers, and travelled to some of the world’s most exclusive boutique hotels in our travel feature. A round-the-world trip through Africa, Asia, Europe and America wouldn’t be complete without a turn at one of these seductive hideaways.
As things heat up, we’ve been more provocative and daring than ever before in our full-length editorial featuring the legendary Tony Ward photographed by Dimitris Theochardis. Shot like you’ve never seen him before, Tony exudes strength and masculinity in a series of smouldering portraits. It’s been an honour to work with one of the most immediately recognisable men in fashion, and we’re thrilled with the results.