Parisian brand Gunther declares its love for New York City
The menswear brand, founded by Naomi Gunther in January 2019, is undoubtedly the emerging French brand to look out for among the luxury streetwear market. The brand, presented alongside 30 other international brands at the Tranoï fashion tradeshow, hosted a fashion show for Paris Fashion Week outside of the official fashion season calendar on Jan. 17 at the La Scala theater.
Gunther shocked the press as she presented the first physical fashion show of the season ahead of the official Paris Fashion Week schedule. Familiar faces in street culture and curious by-passers alike crowded the entrance of the La Scala theater on the Boulevard de Strasbourg in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. The Parsons School of Design graduate welcomed her guests with fictitious newspapers, with the words “Dear New York” plastered on the front page. The newspapers served as a means of immediately revealing the title and inspiration behind the Fall/Winter 2022 collection; a tribute to the city that never sleeps.
“I am originally Parisian, but New York is the city I carry with me in my heart. I studied there for three years and that is where I discovered streetwear. It is also a city that is very rich in terms of proposing and mixing many different styles,” explained the designer to FashionNetwork.com as she spoke about the French and American cultures that influenced her latest collection.
Modern and comfortable silhouettes, wide sweatshirts, casual T-shirts, and baggy sweatpants make up the wardrobe designed for the urban man. The color palettes of New York City were displayed throughout the collection; the city’s yellow cabs, the greenery of Central Park, and the orange and purple blinding lights of Broadway.
“Made in France” meets New York City
“I wanted to divide the collection into three categories. The first category is from a tourist’s perspective of New York, featuring souvenir logos, caps, and jewelry. The second category is a tribute to the city’s streetwear marked by Virgil Abloh, who inspired me a lot as a designer. The final category is a Parisian aesthetic defined by structured tailoring, volumes, and the research behind each fabric,” continued the designer as she spoke about the collection inspired by various elements of American culture.
The teddy and bomber jackets referenced American prep-school uniforms while a long mobster-inspired coat could have well been worn by Al Capone himself. Jay-Z and Lenny Kravitz, both New York City natives, tied the runway show's theme together as the models walked to the beat of their songs.
The collection’s accessories include caps made from 100% organic cotton, available for purchase on the brand’s website for the price of €95, and an array of XXL logo-printed knitted scarves. “They are very important for our brand. We always try to include a hand-knitted piece in our collections to highlight the French and traditional ‘savoir-faire’,” said Gunther.
In line with its ethical practices, the brand designs and manufactures its pieces in Paris, collaborates with local artisans, and promotes the use of recycled and organic fabrics such as bamboo or recycled woods and plastics. The brand produces its products based on its current demand in order to avoid overproducing and only uses already available fabrics.
“Our ambition is to offer unique quality pieces at the fairest possible price points,” explained the brand, with a price positioning between €100 and €1,000. Gunther's products are available for purchase at the Printemps retail and online stores, e-commerce shops Zalando and Not Just a Label, and in the B Hype boutique in Dubai.
The fashion show left the audience surprised by the unexpected model who walked down the runway. The French soccer player, Djibril Cissé, known for playing for the Liverpool and Olympique de Marseille soccer clubs, strutted down the catwalk wearing a long, purple, wide lapel wool-blend coat. Cissé and Gunther met through Instagram as the soccer star fell in love with the brand after wearing Gunther's designs for a photo shoot.
“He is a fashion icon and we thought it’d be a great idea for him to join us on the catwalk,” said the designer, who counts rappers Hatik, SCH, and Soolking as one of her brand's many loyal fans.
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