The founders of French fashion label The Kooples recently came to town for Latitudes, Attitudes. An exhibition curated by the label, it sees the same leather jacket snapped on couples all around the world.
It aims to depict love globally between new flames, old married couples and everyone inbetween.
While the exhibition is now over, we managed to snag five minutes with The Kooples co-founder, Alexandre Elicha, to talk leather, love stories and Latitudes, Attitudes.
How did the idea for Latitudes, Attitudes come about?
The concept and exhibition is a tribute to three major points of The Kooples identity: the leather jacket, inspiration from the globe and, of course, couples.
The leather jacket is one of the brand’s biggest icons that enhances its rock'n'roll DNA. Since its launch in 2008, The Kooples has never stopped offering new and unique variations of the leather jacket. Every season we have managed to come up with new references, new colours and new material.
It was actually a challenge for the photographers to place the leather jacket in different settings and capture its androgynous look in juxtaposition with love stories from around the world. The leather contrasts the light fabric of the sari worn by married women in India, and the cotton of the djellabas in Morocco. The black contrasts with the blue of California, the white light of hot summer evenings in Greece, the lush green of the Welsh countryside.
From Tokyo to Los Angeles, from Sydney to Milan, The Kooples team travels all the time and gains creative vibes and energies for the creation of a new collection.
Latitudes, Attitudes is a tribute to 'the couple' that has run in The Kooples’ DNA from the very start. From the creation of the brand, we used to feature only real couples in our campaigns. We selected couples reflecting our targets and also who we are. Young couples or more mature ones, crazy couples or more classic.
How did you select the couples featured in the exhibition?
We worked with photographers we had a connection with and who we were confident would find the perfect pairs to illustrate our concept. Duos of all ages from new lovers to married couples all played along.
Why should everyone have a leather jacket in their wardrobe?
The leather jacket is an iconic piece in The Kooples wardrobe, it is so versatile, you can wear it with everything! The leather jacket offers infinite possibilities, worn over a floral dress or with fitted jeans, all combinations are possible and it always adds to your look.
What is a Koople?
My brothers and I have always been into British subcultures so we wanted to play with the English word 'couples', which in French sounds like 'kooples'. We wanted a place you could shop with your boyfriend. We really believe that somebody wearing The Kooples will not stay single for long. We dress them to help them find the one who is going to undress them.
How would you describe The Kooples style?
Parisian spirit mixed with a London rock'n'roll attitude. Savile Row tailoring for both men and women. Structured designs with very specific attention to detail.
What couples are you most inspired by?
When first launching our brand, we were heavily influenced by vintage photos of Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis. When we create our collections, we think of men and women who dress to empower themselves. We want our clothing to make people feel confident, strong and seductive, to go after what they want.
Are there any challenges when designing for both men and women?
We don’t see it as a challenge but more as our opportunity from the beginning to stand out in terms of DNA and brand story.
Since the beginning, we’ve always thought of everything for both men and women. We were inspired by Savile Row tailoring, my brothers and I used to go to Savile Row to get bespoke suits. When we created The Kooples, we wanted to make this tailoring know-how more accessible. Not only for men but also for women. This is really unique!
We think of our clients as couples. This means that seduction is everywhere. We pay attention to every detail to be sure that our collections are unique and that our clients will feel good.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Even though there are challenges to overcome in every business, we are fortunate and thankful to be a very close team. Beyond being brothers, we are each other’s closest friends. I work on menswear, Laurent does womenswear, and Raphaël handles the brand image.
And I will not forget to mention the 1200 people around the world that are a part of The Kooples, who are with us every day and considered part of our family!