When arriving at Adrien Albou’s apartment, being greeted with freshly baked croissants, whose butter trace could fairly be noticed on the plate, was, truth to be told, slightly unexpected. I was imagining the atmosphere resembling the first 4:02 minutes of the song “Papa was a rolling stone” by The Temptations. Or Lenny Kravitz jamming in a corner, a not so unusual scenario in the designers American pop culture inspired home, because yes, that’s how cool Adrien is. Shortly after, it became clear that this diversification – offering croissants one day, jamming with Kravitz the other – this easy-going and cool at the same time, goes very well with Adriens brand – Garçons Infidèles.
Worn by celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, and described by the critics as unisex, grunge and easy-going, the just three-years-old, Garçons Infidèles has already cultivated a distinctive brand image. The pieces are edgy, with details so unique that it would make even the most sceptical one to crave for more while humming on the tunes of The Rolling Stones big hit “(I can’t get no) satisfaction“. And catching Adrien in his own design, next to a photo of Serge Gainsbourg, called for a natural reaction of complimenting his outfit.
”Thank you, it’s 100% my design and vegan cotton!”
Vegan cotton? This is how you work? Eco-friendly?
Not really but I was looking to find some new fabrics for the spring/summer collection. And my vibe at the moment was vegan and the friends around me were vegans. So we started talking about how good it is for the environment. And voilà — I have been focusing on that.
That’s refreshing. And the brand… how did it all start?
I started my brand because it was hard for me to find the perfect look and the perfect outfit to go well with my rock and roll vibe. My brand is mainly focusing on rock and roll and my first collection was a tribute to The New York Dolls. The singer, David Johansen had this perfect outfit — flare pants, heels to go with it, perfect shirt — and I realised, that is how I want to dress and how I want to dress people — this unisex vibe, exclusive vibe, with amazing shapes and amazing fabrics.
You talk a lot about artist and music — I’m assuming that your design is affected by music?
Every new collection that I create is a tribute to, and mainly focusing on, music. For example the new collection SS20, that’s a tribute to the 90s’. It’s called Baby Grunge and it’s the fun part of the 90s’. It’s rock and fun. Because my brand is not sad, depressive and angry rock and roll, it’s funny rock and roll. That’s who I am and that is reflected in all my collections.
“My main inspo is the 60s’. The Hippie vibe, print, flowers, flare pants, psychedelic rock… I love it!”
What was the reason for your interest in fashion in the first place?
My mother is a fashion designer and my grandmother was a fashion designer.
So you grew up around fashion?
Yes, I totally grew up around fashion. In fact, I was born and raised in the fashion world. My mother is the founder of the French brand Paul and Joe. And before I could even walk and talk I started watching runway shows with my parents, in both New York and Paris. So fashion and style have always come natural for me, my parents taught me everything that I know about the fashion world. Growing up I’ve always dressed differently, but without ever being extreme for that matter. I was always wearing something cool, but special, and out-of-the-ordinary. Which is how I would describe the clothes that are in my dressing room. I’ve kept the same state of mind during my creation process and through all of the collections I’ve created.
Same state of mind you say… something else?
Yes! I always have the artist that inspires me in mind when designing. My collections are all about paying a tribute to the them. Serge Gainsbourg for example is with me every season. Because, for me, the tailoring is the most important thing. A very nice funky shirt, with crazy prints, high waist, nice boots… pure perfection!
So why the name Garçons Infidèles [meaning unfaithful boys in French, editors note]?
It’s fun and it’s really about music because I’m unfaithful towards music. I listen to everything — new wave, rock and roll, electronic, rap. And actually the first artists that started wearing my design were rappers!
So you’re unfaithful towards just music…?
Yes! [laughter] But fine, to be honest, I’m also unfaithful towards fashion. If you see my look book from when I started, it’s different from the one today. But I need to change my mind all the time, it’s important if you want to stay relevant as a designer.
What’s on the horizon for Garçons Infidèles?
A lot! There’s a lot to come. I am working on my new line called GI Denim. It is a big line of denim. And I’m also working on my music label GI Label. At the moment we are also focusing on the U.S. and working on having more retailers there.
Where is Garçons Infidèles sold the best in the States?
What do you think?
Cali? L.A.? Of course it’s California and L.A.!
Yes, Cali in L.A. of course!
Wrapping up the interview and leaving Adrien’s — after revisiting the 60s’, 70s’ and 80s’ fashion and music wise — splurged the urge to blast the song California Dreamin’ by The Mama’s & the Papa’s when arriving home. Which really came as no surprise as the song itself fits Adrien and Garçons Infidèles like a glove. Among other genres. Obviously.