Paris, the 90s, streetwear, hiphop, is inspired to create THE FLAVA SUPPLIER sharing his vision for responsible consumption, with unlimited creativity he seeks to give a second life to garments and fight against production in mass that participates in the destruction of our environment.
It’s actually a deep question!
I always believed that fashion has a very strong power. Without saying a word, you can express so much only by the way you dress. Since I can remember I always wanted to wear that thing that would make me different.
I have always been into Hip-hop and when I started to dance and go deeper into the culture at the age of 16, fashion was also a tool for me to identify myself as a bboy, I used fashion to feel that I was included in that community.
It’s also around that age that I started to customize some of my clothes. Fast forward, after a career in finance, I wanted to do something more relevant to me ; with a purpose, and something I could bring more of myself into. Like many others, The Covid situation gave me some time to think about this, but all the thoughts led to fashion. I think that everybody could contribute to help the environment by consuming more responsibly.
When I came across some upcycled pieces on internet, I saw it immediately like the perfect crossover between all my passions and interests, and I saw it like the perfect evolution of my project. So I’ve learned how to sew from scratch, thanks to all the information we have access to on the internet and I attended a few months intensive class in Paris.
Today, what’s really pushes me is to supply people with something unique that would help them to reflect who they are, to feel confident and good about themselves. Because it’s the magic effect that fashion has on me. I like to think that people can feel the same way wearing my clothes.
This is the reason my brand is named “The Flava Supplier”. “Flava” is a term widely used within the HipHop dance community and it is defined by so many attributes, but basically, it stands for “style” or the energy that you project.
Where do you find your material?
I’m sourcing material from different sources, thrifting a lot in many different places, from local thrift stores, to wholesale retailers, through kilosales… I’m also getting some donations but I’m trying to take less things because you quickly end up with a huge amount of raw material to be transformed just because you think that it could be use somehow, someday. The good thing is that even when some piece of clothes are completely unwearable, you can always rip off the zippers, buttons etc,…
And the magic of upcycling is that you can work not only from clothing material, so I often use and repurpose things like curtains, towels, tablecloths, etc,… there is no limit.
Besides my upcycling creations, I kept going with my original idea which was selling vintage clothes, so I often rework some of my own products, to give them a fresh new life or a new purpose.
What comes first or put another way Do you think of a design and then go and find the material ? Or you see the material you like and then comes the design.
Each piece has a story so it’s hard to tell, but in general the material or the original garment brings the design or the idea. It often works by association, could be colours, patterns or texture, etc,…
It’s really rare that I would go around to find something really specific. Most of the time If I have an idea but missing the complementary material, I will let it sit on the shelves and wait for that spark to come or to find the missing part. It’s really like a puzzle game. It’s like having a huge library of garments, fabrics, colours, texture in my head and I’m constantly looking for the best combinations.
Needless to say that there is a lot of stuffs asides just waiting to be turned into magic. Anyways, I’m always being playful and I’m obsessed with details, so I love to use things not for their original purpose for instance and I’m always paying extra attention that my work is clean and well finished.
What is your BUSINESS Model ? I realise you manufacture all the pieces Yourself but when you get more demand how are you going to manage?
Also 4 seasons or 2 or when you get the demand. I am selling vintage garments besides my own upcycled creations. This helps me to sell more in volumes and offer more affordable pieces. It also helps me to reflect the spirit of my brand and it’s a source of inspiration and material for my creations.
I am only selling online so far, you can reach me via Instagram or my website, and I’m attending as many designer markets and events as I can.
I’m doing everything by myself, from sourcing materials, to every single stitch, but also public relations, marketing or online content creation, etc… Hopefully in a very near future, I will manage to generate enough excitement about my work so I could organise more structured releases like every 2 or 3 weeks.
I’ve never taken the fashion seasons into account. I don’t have those “fashion codes”, I didn’t study fashion and to me it’s killing the creativity. But it’s not like some of my strong principles, so maybe one day I will get into the frame.
So indeed, I’m able to cope with the demand so far but if it would become unbearable, I could imagine that I would first externalise the non-creative tasks, and delegate or automatise the purely technical steps in my creative process. What is for sure is that I will always produce in an ethical and fair way even if I somehow go for some bigger scale projects.
How do you identify fashion designer, couturier ? Artist
Yes maybe you think your more an artist and use fashion as your canvas or maybe its more like a couture individual pieces worked for specific people or one offs that people buy . Or a fashion designer with a bit of both Couture and designing a collection or maybe you think of youre self as something totally different?
Another deep question.
I think that I identify myself first as an artist. When I started, the aim was to be able to bring to life what I had in my head, and in order to do that I had to learn how to sew and design.
I like to sew but let’s say that it’s not what makes me happy. What really makes me getting up every day is the desire to create, and all the process that goes with that. The best feeling is to visualize something and then to be able to make it. So yeah, sewing and designing clothes is actually simply a tool to express what I can imagine.
On the other hand, even though I never studied fashion design nor sewing, I think that I’ve developed good skills as a fashion designer and a sewist. It’s really important for me to provide not only something that looks good but that is also well finished and done in a proper way.
I am very meticulous, I am observing a lot, I like to experiment and above all, I practice a lot. I am learning every day and that’s what I like. I love to know that I will forever be a student and that I’m can get better every day. And more I know, more skills I have, more I can push the limits of my creativity.
Follow in Instagram @theflavasupplier